Response stories

Bullying in kindergarten

A former sex worker with HIV-positive status sent her child to kindergarten. It soon turned out that the child of a client’s classmate, who knew about her former occupation and HIV-status, was studying in the same group. He wrote about this to a parent group in Viber and insisted on asking the headmistress not to allow the client’s child to attend this preschool.

Although the child had a negative status, no medical references or explanations from the mother were valid. The parents boycotted her and the child. Even the police, who were called to the scene because of a fight between a mother and a client, did not take any action and just left as soon as they found out what was going on.

The client was provided with primary legal and psycho-emotional assistance. After that, accompanied by a human rights activist-volunteer, she visited the institution and finally informed the parents and the management of the kindergarten that their children are not in danger. The REActor also clarified the situation regarding the client’s further actions in case of continuing the stigma and told what awaits the parents and management of the institution in the event of inaction against bullying.

An application was submitted to the management of the institution about cases of bullying in relation to a child demanding a full and impartial investigation in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Citizens’ Appeals”. The head of the children’s institution considered the appeal and promised to improve the microclimate in the children’s environment and resolve the conflict within the institution.

Subsequently, the management of the institution conducted a training for parents with the involvement of a health worker, who spoke in detail about the ways of HIV transmission and assured that the child has the full right to attend kindergarten.