After rain, the Colégio Municipalizado Guilherme Dourado school was flooded and students had to protect themselves with umbrellas (Photo: Uiliene Araújo / Staff File)
Images show students taking a test holding umbrellas.
Municipal Secretary said teacher proceeded wrongly.
by Fernanda Liberius
The disclosure on social networks of photos showing students taking a test under umbrellas caused the firing of a municipal school teacher in Imperatriz (northeastern state of Maranhão). The images caused an uproar and repercussions were felt in city hall. The Municipal Secretary of Education, Zeziel Ribeiro da Silva, said the measure was taken because the teacher proceeded in the wrong manner. The story was passed on to the press by an internet user.
Uiliene Araújo Santa Rosa, 24, was removed from her position and had her contract with the Municipality of Imperatriz ended on Friday the 26th, following the publication of photographs showing a classroom of the Colégio Municipalizado Guilherme Dourado school. In the pictures you can see students protecting themselves with umbrellas and also the classroom floor flooded and holes in the roof of the institution. According to the teacher, the intention was to publish the images to draw attention to the problems of the municipal. “I didn’t identify the name of the school or any officials of the institution, but I published the photos on my personal profile because I believe that we should not sit idly in a situation like that,” she told a G1 reporter.
Uiliene Araújo Santa Rosa
I believe in freedom of expression and to train students with a critical view, which don’t comply with things the way they are. – Uiliene Araújo
After the publication of the photos, Uiliene says she realized that colleagues treated her differently. “When we got back from the holiday, I realized that the staff looked at me differently and no longer spoke to me. It was because of the pictures. Then they began to boycott my classes. Not releasing the projector or television that I bring for my students, something they did for the other teachers,” she said.
In the same week that the images were released, the teacher says that the Department of Education provided immediate repairs on the roof of the school. On the 25th of this month, however, Uiliene was removed from her job at Guilherme Dourado, and on Friday the 26th, the teacher received a notice announcing the termination of her contract with the City of Imperatriz for acts of unacceptable conduct.
“I was punished for publishing the photos and that’s not fair. It’s the kind of thing that happened during the dictatorship (1), but we’re in a democracy, right? She [the director] is not acting as a manager. She is treating the school as private property, but the school is public property, the city’s. I believe in freedom of expression and to train students with a critical view, which don’t comply with things the way they are. I grew up watching my dad and my teachers claiming education rights and I learned to value it, so I could not sit idly by in the face of this situation,” reported the teacher.
Classroom floor was flooded after rain (Photo: Uiliene Araujo /Staff File)
Uiliene, who graduated from college last year, will begin teaching in higher education, but doesn’t plan to abandon the struggle for the recovery of basic education. “I will teach in higher education, but since I taught in several public schools since my college days and I know their status. I have a small child and I keep thinking, will he be in a school like this he goes to school,” asks Uiliene.
Published on her personal profile on Facebook, the four photos that show the status of the Colégio Municipalizado Guilherme Dourado school classroom already had nearly 200 shares and several comments in support of the teacher and indignation at the structure and the attitude school officials took.
In contact with G1 (news journal), the municipal secretary of Education, Zeziel Ribeiro da Silva, confirmed the dismissal of the teacher. According to him, Uiliene Araújo Santa Rosa’s contract was terminated after the posting of the school situation in social networks. The secretary said the episode was isolated and the school, located in São José park, a neighborhood on the periphery of Imperatriz, has one of the best buildings among the municipal network of the city.
Also according to the secretary, a windstorm that occurred shortly after the election damaged the roof of the room shown in the images and that on the day the photos were taken a test was to be conducted, but the teacher could have avoided the situation. Zeziel claimed that at no time did the teacher seek the school board or the Department of Education to report the case. He also stated that the dismissal was communicated to Mayor Sebastião Wood, who authorized the procedure.
The Secretary argued that internal problems shouldn’t be dealt with in social networks and that the employee, who was employed for four months, proceeded in the wrong manner. He says there is no persecution against the teacher and that the administrative measure would also have been taken against another employee who made this mistake.
1. Brazil was ruled by two dictatorships in the 20th century, the second lasting from 1964-1985