Petition to oust education minister gets 100,000 signatures

Mateusz Marek/PAP

Over 100,000 people have signed a petition by the Democracy Action social movement and the Left political party demanding the dismissal of Polish Education Minister Przemyslaw Czarnek.

The Sejm (lower house of parliament) is to consider on Wednesday evening a motion brought by opposition bloc Civic Coalition on removing Czarnek from office.

Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bak of the Left party said the petition for a citizens' motion for a vote of no confidence in Czarnek had garnered more signatures than Czarnek had won votes in parliamentary elections. She called for the Sejm to unanimously dismiss the minister.

A group of activists held a press conference on Wednesday, displaying the petition and appealing for more signatures. Among them was Janek Michalowski, a student who presented a "lesson plan according to Premyslaw Czarnek" prepared by protesters.

It contained lessons on "womanly virtues" and "fighting the rainbow blight" as well as sex anti-education. Michalowski said young people called on MPs to dismiss Czarnek arguing that there was no consent for schools to be ruled by homophobia and misogyny.

Last week, Czarnek’s advisor, Pawel Skrzydlewski, commented for the ultra-catholic newspaper Nasz Dziennik on the new priorities of the Ministry of Education and said that "the proper education of women is the strengthening of girls to the womanly virtues."