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Russian Vice Principal Threatens to Seize Students From Their Homes for Supporting Navalny

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In what has become a familiar trend of teachers berating students for supporting Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the deputy director of a school outside Moscow berated students for supporting Alexei Navalny. Once again, the students on the receiving end of the tirade recorded the incident and published the audio online.

In this particular instance, Vladimir School 15 deputy director Tatyana Ageeva went so far as to threaten to call child services and have her students seized from their homes for visiting Navalny’s local campaign office, according to the Vladimir media outlet Zebra TV.

During class on April 26, Ageeva erroneously informed students that only adult Russian citizens have the legal right to attend protests, and she warned that campaigning for Navalny constituted extremist activity. (She curiously said she would permit talk about Vladimir Putin, as it “wasn’t an incitement to anything.”)

Ageeva told several students who attended last month’s nationwide anti-corruption protests that they would be “seized from their families,” and their parents would be “denied the right to raise you.” Ageeva said she herself would notify the police about the neglect that she argued was demonstrated by parents who allowed their children to attend Navalny’s rallies.

At one point in her rant, Ageeva even claimed to have the power to spare the students from arrest. “I can defend anyone, or I can decide not to lift a finger,” she said.

Natalia Kuznetsova, the school’s director, later told reporters that the students may have broken the law by publishing the audio of Ageeva’s remarks, but Kuznetsova also acknowledged that Ageeva’s rhetoric is problematic. “There won’t be any more of these conversations,” she promised journalists and parents.

Regional Children’s Rights Commissioner Gennady Prokhorychev was less delicate, telling the press that Ageeva demonstrated her ignorance about Russian law and showed that she is unfit to teach students.

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