The director of gymnasium No. 168 in St. Petersburg, Svetlana Lebedeva, said that she did not force teacher Serafima Saprykina to resign. Previously educator informedthat she was forced to leave school because of reading the poems of repressed poets, including Kharms, whom Lebedeva allegedly called “enemies of the people” and “accomplices of the Nazis.”
Lebedeva herself denies this and says that she highly appreciates the work of Daniil Kharms. “Of course, there were no phrases that Kharms and Vvedensky were “enemies of the people” or “accomplices of the Nazis,” quotes Lebedev 78.ru.
The head of the school said that she has been working in it for 29 years, and is very upset by the scandal that has occurred. According to the headmistress, she is not against Kharms’s work, and the complaints against the teacher were connected only with her choice of the moment for a lesson on this topic.
“In general, this is my favorite children’s writer, I read it to my grandchildren, but I was surprised that my colleague, who worked here and, unfortunately, left, for some reason decided to issue this problem, and believes that I am not passionate enough about versatile literature, – Lebedev assures. – We are also studying different views on history, on the problems of our country. Kharms is a block of children’s versification, a very beloved author by everyone.
According to Lebedeva, in December 2021, “the whole country celebrated the anniversary of the Battle of Moscow, and all educational affairs were related to this topic.” At such a time, veterans and the military are usually invited to the school, who tell the children about the exploits in the classroom.
Lebedeva noted that the teacher, if she wanted to change the curriculum, had to coordinate her topic with the head teacher for educational work or with the director. However, the teacher did not do this, and at the lesson she told the tenth graders about the repressed poets. “These were sad topics,” the headmistress complains.
She believes that Saprykina, being a “creative, emotional and reverent” nature, did not follow strict school rules. But “if there is no order in the team, nothing good will come of us,” Lebedeva is sure. She talked about this to her teacher many times.
The administration of the Central District of St. Petersburg reported that Serafima Saprykina was hired on August 25, 2021. She was hired as a teacher-organizer, librarian, teacher of extracurricular activities of the Federal State Educational Standard.
According to officials, Saprykina resigned in December of her own free will and “there was no negativity on either side.”
On February 6, Saprykina wrote a post on Facebook in which she spoke about the circumstances of her dismissal. According to her, Lebedeva, after lessons on repressed poets, called Saprykina to her place and stated that Daniil Kharms and Alexander Vvedensky were “deservedly captured by the NKVD and tortured for their crimes,” and their poems should be discussed only “in your bohemian kitchens.” “I tried to babble something about rehabilitation, to which the head of the museum, a colonel (80 years old, constantly dragging military men to school to strengthen patriotism, the children are already screaming) told me that in those years everyone was rehabilitated,” added the fired teacher.
She mentioned Osip Mandelstam and Nikolai Gumilyov, but the school administration, according to Saprykina, also classified them as “enemies.”
Minister of Education Sergei Kravtsov, after the publication of Saprykina, called for the restoration of the teacher’s rights. “Our teachers live by their work, (…) they try to give the children the maximum. And if in response an administrative worker turns on a “club” with or without reason, what will we get as a result? – said the official. His words leads Interfax.
Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov urged not to rush to conclusions and double-check the data on the dismissal of Saprykina.
Petersburg Legislative Assembly Boris Vishnevsky sent appeal to the education committee. “This should not get away with,” he commented on the dismissal of the teacher.
Vishnevsky recalled that in the same Central District, the administration wants to destroy the image of Kharms, created by artists on the facade of the house on Mayakovsky Street, where the poet lived. In defense of this work of art was created petitionwhich has been signed by more than 30,000 people.