After the Supreme Court decision, pressure on the children of Jehovah's Witnesses increased in schools

Bashkortostan,   Rostov Region,   Kirov Region

Against the backdrop of the lawsuit against Jehovah's Witnesses organizations, some children raised in accordance with biblical morality began to experience unprecedented pressure from teachers and police officers.

On March 28, 2017, in Ufa (Bashkortostan), district police officer A. Rozhkin came to the house of a large family and, finding his eldest son, asked for a written explanation regarding their religion. When the mother and her daughters arrived, the policeman demanded an explanation as to why the woman "involves minors in extremist activities" (which is not true). The woman refused to give explanations, and the eldest daughter began to record the words of the policeman on a mobile phone camera. In the future, the police continued to put pressure on the family.

On April 17, 2017, in one of the schools of the Rodionovo-Nesvetaysky district of the Rostov region, the class teacher summoned a 14-year-old girl from the lesson to the principal's office, having previously seized her phone. In the office, the district police officer A. Yunyaev, as well as a man in civilian clothes, began to tell the girl that her mother was forcing her to go to a "terrorist organization" in which "they are robbed" and "taught to kill people." Officials brought the child to tears by intimidating the child, insulting her feelings, and falsely claiming that Jehovah's Witnesses would "wrap her around and send her to blow up the school." They encouraged the girl to "show my mother my self and not go to meetings." "If you want, read the Bible at home and don't go anywhere," they said, "just read our Bible, from church."

On April 24, 2017, in a school in the Pizhansky district of the Kirov region, two 6th grade students, sisters from a family of Jehovah's Witnesses, refused to sing a song in a music lesson, the lyrics of which glorify hostilities and murder (which contradicts the religious beliefs of the family). Although the teacher knows the views of this family, she in a raised voice expelled the children from the class to look for another song, which brought them to tears. In front of the whole class, the teacher told the girls: "You are now banned and already tired of your religion." Later, in a conversation with the girls' mother, the teacher said: "You are now extremists and there will be no concessions." Nevertheless, the family managed to arrange the performance of a song about nature, which does not contradict their views. The teacher lowered the grade "for an off-topic song."

According to the legislation in force in Russia, parents have a preferential right to the education and upbringing of their children over all other persons. It is on parents that the Family Code imposes the duty of caring for the "spiritual and moral development of their children."