Teaching Racism: A film by Adriana Zimova and Edita Stejskalova
In the Czech Republic, 32 percent of Roma children are diagnosed as “mentally retarded” and sent to segregated schools. Roma people only make up two percent of the country’s population, is racism driving up the number of Roma children being diagnosed as mentally retarded?
As a child Edita Stejskalova was diagnosed as being mentally retarded. After earning a master’s degree, she decided to use her education to become a Roma rights activist
“When the children are placed [in special schools] unjustly, someone stole their opportunities, their possibilities, their life! Who will give it back? Who will make this right?” said Stejskalova.
In 2007, the European Court of Human Right found the Czech Republic guilty of discrimination against the Roma in the education system. But to this day, thousands of Roma kids are still labeled “mentally retarded” and sent to segregated schools for children with mental disability.