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Russian School Lowers Passing Grade for Boys, Sparking Outrage

Alexander Avilov / Moskva news Agency

An elite school in central Russia has drawn national attention after it lowered passing grades for boys because its headmaster says girls are better students and boys grow up to lead the country.

A bulletin posted on the wall of the school in the city of Perm showed that the passing grade was set at 69.1 for girls and 65.7 for boys, sending shockwaves through Russia.

“Girls are more diligent as a rule,” the headmaster, Tatyana Dyakova, told the regional 59.ru news website Tuesday. “But boys don’t generally have that diligence, that’s why their scores are lower.”

“But then they become leaders. Don’t you know who runs the country? Typically, it’s former boys,” Dyakova explained.

At least 20 girls received non-passing grades as a result of the discrepancy, 59.ru reported.

The decision to lower passing grades for boys has no legal grounds, Sergei Bolshakov, the director of a different school in Perm, told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Thursday.

“The requirements should be the same for both boys and girls,” Bolshakov added.

Svetlana Denisova, the commissioner for children in Perm region, was quoted by RIA as saying that the incident counts as gender discrimination.

After the news made national headlines, city administrators told 59.ru that they would look into the reports of gender bias at the school.

This is the second time the Perm school has drawn controversy in the past year. In September, prosecutors opened a case into the suspension of a 15-year-old student for dyeing her hair pink. A court fined the school 50,000 rubles — and its headmaster 30,000 rubles — for violating the student’s right to an education.

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