By Johanna and Frank Wahlig
We started out with the video “The Journalist” about Boris Reitschuster, which immediately reached 500,000 views. Every two weeks a new installment of KOLLATERAL will be released.
The thought provoking, disturbing, moving fates of people that suffer under political mandates were first published under the name “Kollateralschaden” on reitschuster.de. The stories can now be seen in short films called “KOLLATERAL.” In the second episode, the former headmistress, Bianca, tells us how she lost her job, and her face on the school’s photo board was “Masked over!”
There was once a headmistress at a school in Lower Saxony. Bianca is no longer listed in the imprint as headmistress, her face taped over on the photo board. “All of the children, all the parents, all the teachers can see that”, says Bianca. “Bitter!”
The 44-year-old is on sick leave. She is not allowed to enter the school. The janitor has removed all her things from her former office. Her husband’s lockers have also been cleared, alongside a picture painted by her daughter.
Über ihre Schule sagt Bianca bei den Dreharbeiten During our filming in summer, Bianca said about her school: “My school, my thing” (meaning: “my cup of tea”). This school isn’t hers anymore, it isn’t her ‘thing’ anymore.
Ask questions and lose your job!
During the lockdown, Bianca visits her school once more, accompanied by our camera. “I’ve got the impression I shouldn’t be here. Strange.” Why? The house is locked. No children, no colleagues, no danger. The janitor sounds the alarm and informs the staff councilor. The staff councilor arrives with her husband and films the unbidden visit to “protect” the school from the headmistress. This is the last time she visits the school.
Bianca did something that used to be the duty of responsible people, teachers, doctors, journalists: She questioned the new regulations , the new fears, presumed dangers. She openly asked, “Are we doing the right thing? Does it harm the children? Is it of any use?”
Bianca’s colleagues reported her ‘mischievous skepticism’. The consequence: There once was a headmistress. She was ‘released from work,’ as it’s called.
“We need these people!”
How to proceed with skepticism? Bianca would use her time to think about it, and take a decision. She started getting in touch and networking with other headmasters and educators – and there are many more than the school authorities bargained for. This gives Bianca strength, and the certainty that she has done the right thing. She lost her job because she asked critical questions, nothing more than that really. Thousands got in touch with her. They organize, meet, inform, and support one another. They started a website: Schulleiter für Aufklärung (Headteachers For Awareness) Internet: Schulleiter für Aufklärung.
Countless headteachers – from Germany, Switzerland, Israel – got in touch. Bianca is hopeful, “We need these people that are willing to go down this road. At some point, we will again have a school for the children.”
Addendum: Bianca’s face in the entrance to the school in Celle was covered over by a sticker saying “Living Democracy” An initiative the former headmistress engaged in. Thus, in a small way, memory is being expunged. The Romans called this “damnatio memoriae.”
They will not succeed.
In a small way the series of portraits “KOLLATERAL” contributes to that.
So nobody can say afterwards, “We did not know!”
Link to the story on reitschuster.de