SCHOOL OF SILENCE

Author: Ye. Bruskova

SCHOOL OF SILENCE. (By Staff Correspondent Ye. Bruskova. Komsomolskaya pravda, Jan. 29, p. 2. 2000 words. Condensed text:) Nezhin, Chernigov Province- ... The letter that prompted my trip to Nezhin ended with the words: "We are not signing this. We shall identify ourselves when your correspondent comes here." But days passed and the writers of the letter did identify themselves. It is true that there were "accidental" meetings in the evenings. Students sought me out in the diner, in the street and in the hotel. When one of them walked away, I could already guess how the next one would take his leave:

"Please don't tell anyone that I saw you."

The facts reported in the letter were found to be true. In the technicum stipends are often withdrawn from students. This is done for a variety of reasons: refusal to speak at an evening gathering, poor grades, tardiness for lectures, drinking, failure to report illness, etc. Grounds for withdrawing a stipend from a person can always be found, if that is the basic form of punishment at the technicum!

I had quite a long talk with Yury Dmitriyevich Gerasimenko, the director of the technicum, and Dmitry Ivanovich Melnikov, the director of the academic division. We talked about each of the 17 students who had lost their stipends under the latest order, and especially about those who will be leaving the technicum in two months.

It turned out that in the technicum this or that misconduct by a student is merely a pretext for withdrawing the stipend from him. The real reasons are much deeper.

"Take Shevchenko. His stipend was taken away because he missed four classes," the director said. "But he is in general a person of unwholesome attitudes. You should hear what kind of things he says. We have noticed this since his first year. He has a tendency to ask all ...

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