Narva schoolteacher resigns over backlash at her anti-Putin t-shirt slogan
A Narva teacher has resigned from her post after coming under pressure from parents at the school she works at, following her publicly expressed, stance against Russian leader Vladimir Putin and, by implication, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, portal Delfi reports.
Delfi says (link in Estonian) that the teacher, Alina Vorontšihhina, who teaches music at Narva Vanalinna riigikool, had, along with many others, attended a gathering on Tuesday, May 9, which also happens to be "victory day" in Russia.
Footage shows she was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the Russian slogan "Putin kh**lo" ("Putin is a d*ck"), and it was this which prompted a backlash from upset parents of children attending the Narva Vanalinna riigikool, after the footage went vial on TikTok.
Director of the school Tatjana Salu says that Vorontšihhina was not fired, either due to the slogan of for any other reason, but had left of her own volition, while Vorontšihhina herself declined to comment on the matter to Delfi.
Her last day of work at the Narva Vanalinna riigikool will be May 19, though Salu said that Vorontšihhina in any case was only on a fixed-term contract through to the summer and had opted to bring her leaving date forward, following a meeting.
Social media comments from parents revealed anger at Vorontšihhina's actions in relation to her work as a teacher, Delfi reports; many parents and some pupils rejected Salu's explanation that Vorontšihhina's actions had taken place outside of school hours, in her own free time.
Salu had initially suggested Vorontšihhina explain her actions to the parents, but her resignation in effect rendered this moribund.
Salu did not answer clearly as to whether Vorontšihhina would have faced disciplinary action had she stayed on at the school, simply saying that while all have their right to their opinion, Narva is a city where everyone knows everyone else and thus people must be treated with respect.
On Tuesday, a large poster (pictured) was hung from the walls of Narva Castle with an image of Russian leader Vladimir Putin and text in English referring to him as a war criminal. Meanwhile on the opposite bank of the Narva River in Ivangorod, Russia, a May 9 concert was set up so as to be viewable, and audible, from the Estonian side of the border, where a crowd of several hundred reportedly gathered to watch the proceedings.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mirjam Mäekivi