Chronicles of a disease:
The headmaster

KOLLATERAL goes on air

By Johanna and Frank Wahlig

We started out with the video “The Journalist” about Boris Reitschuster, which immediately reached 500.000 views. It’s planned to put out a short film of the KOLLATERAL series every two weeks.

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 head of school Bianca tells us how she lost her job and her face on the photo board of the school: “Masked over!”

The Headmaster

Once upon a time, there was a headmaster at a school in Lower Saxony. By now, her name and job title have been removed from the imprint of the school, her photo from the photo board. “All the children, all parents, all teachers can see that”, says Bianca, “bitter.” The 44-year old is on sick leave. She is not allowed to enter the school. The caretaker has removed all her things from her former office. So have her husband’s things from his cupboard, as well as a picture painted by her daughter.

During a film shoot 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.

Question 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 councillor. The staff councillor and her husband move in and film the unbidden guests, in order to “protect” the school from the headmaster. 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 all the mandates, the new fears, presumed dangers. She asked openly: Is all that right? Does it harm the children, is it of any use?

Bianca’s colleagues reported her mischievous skepticism. The consequence: She became a “once has been” headmaster. 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 to take a decision. She started getting in touch and network with other headmasters and educators. And those are many more than the supervisory school authority might wish for. This gives Bianca strength and the certainty to have 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 organise, they meet, they inform and support each other. They started a website: Schulleiter für Aufklärung (headmasters for awareness).

Countless headmasters, 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 pasted over by a sticker saying “to live democracy”. An initiative, the former headmaster 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 didn’t know all that!”

Link to story on reitschuster.de

Translation: Datz

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