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Vienna teacher under fire for racist slurs against students from Türkiye

A teacher of the German language has been accused of insulting and denigrating foreign students — including children from Türkiye —  at a school in Vienna, the Austrian public broadcaster ORF has reported.

According to the report aired on Friday, the target of the teacher’s racist slurs included students from Syria and Ukraine. The teacher, who was not identified, is accused of saying, “You can’t do anything”  and “You can go back to Türkiye, too!”

She also degraded the students’ economic standing, saying: “Are you paying for school? Is your mom paying for the apartment? Who pays? I … pay everything … and everyone else who has a job. Do the mom and dad have a job? Probably not!”

Also according to ORF, the teacher said that she wanted to see one of the students “get a job here in Austria and not that I have to pay for you.”

Vienna Education Director Heinrich Himmer confirmed the teacher’s offensive statements to ORF.

“This is very insulting behaviour and a misjudgment of the colleague. We will work on that together with her,” he said.


“This is unbelievable that something like this is possible in an Austrian school,” Cornelius Granig, head of the Austrian group Ukraine Aid, told ORF.

Education Director Himmer said: “We don’t ask ourselves in schools where someone comes from and what someone is, but for us the same standards are to be set for everyone.”

Education is about passing on knowledge and potential opportunities, not questioning what someone earns or where someone lives, he said.

According to the report, the situation will be discussed next week between the education directorate, the teacher, and the students.

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