In the wake of a violent crackdown by law enforcement officials on Iranian students who protested against in-person final exams, the Teachers’ Union of Iran has issued a statement supporting the young demonstrators.
Students in various Iranian cities have held rallies in recent weeks calling for ninth- and twelfth-grade final exams not to be held in person as the country rails in the face of a ‘fourth wave’ of coronavirus infections.
The Teachers’ Union of Iran called repressive action by the authorities a manifestation of “weak management and recklessness by officials” in Iran on the whole.
"Violence using pepper spray and batons, intimidation and the arrest of students and adolescents under the age of 18, are both astonishing and far from humane and civil behavior," the statement said.
These measures, it added, “instead of teaching practical tolerance, responsibility and accountability, teach students violent behavior and coercion, from which our present society has suffered and still suffers a great deal."
Cultural unions in Yazd, North Khorasan, Saqqez and Zivieh in Kurdistan province and Aligudarz in Lorestan province have also condemned police brutality during the protests and in separate statements, called for legal action to be taken against the perpetrators.
Despite the demonstrations and civil society backlash, Alireza Raeesi, spokesman for the National Coronavirus Headquarters, reiterated on Saturday, May 8 that final exams for the two year groups would still be held in person.