Schoolchildren in Georgian town forced to clean toilets as part of 'cleanup campaign'
In the town of Chkhorotsku in the Samegrelo region of western Georgia, seventh graders from a local school were taken to city hall where they forced to cleaned toilets as part of a city-wide cleanup campaign.
The children were told that they were going to a “Saturday cleanup”. Both the headmaster and the class teacher knew about this.
An investigation is underway, and a case launched for ‘coercion.’
Th story was first reported by the local radio Atinati.
The video posted by Atinati was filmed by one of the students on a mobile phone.
The video shows how children are forced to wash the floor in the toilet with foamy water. This video was posted on Facebook.
As it turned out, the children were taken from school by a woman who had nothing to do with the school.
Leah Jalagonia, director of a local educational resource center, told Radio Liberty that the children were taken away from the school under the pretext of a cleaning campaign.
“A certain woman came to the school and invited the director to take part in a certain campaign, together with other schools. The director made a mistake, because such issues are resolved only through the ministry. This is a gross violation, because when a stranger or service comes to school, everything is decided through the ministry. The director did not even know exactly where the activity took place,” Jalagonia told RFE/RL.
The woman who initiated the action was named by the students themselves – she was a former employee of the cleaning service of Chkhorotsku municipality Eter Japaridze.
Japaridze told local journalists that she invented and organized the “cleanup” herself, and that her motivation was to instill a positive attitude towards work in students:
“I brought these children to city hall because they have to become mayors, artists, engineers, tourists, celebrities, but if their families have problems and their children need them, they should be ready for any job,” Eter Japaridze said.
Representatives of the Chkhorotsku mayor’s office say they knew nothing about the activity. According to them, since January 25, Japaridze no longer works in the mayor’s office.
For the opposition, these opposition arguments are not enough. Local activists demand the resignation of the mayor of Chkhorotsku David Gogua.
David Gogua himself, in an interview with Formula TV, said that everyone who forced students to clean toilets in Chkhorotsku mayor’s office will be severely punished:
“This is an unacceptable fact. We promptly responded to this fact, and a criminal case was initiated. I am doing my best to bring the matter to the end. All those guilty will be severely punished.