A Maltese teacher and stand-up comedian known for her political satire has been ordered by her school to remove a video she uploaded to her Facebook page in which she criticised working conditions at schools.
In the video, Sandra Gauci jokingly suggested that PN MP Kristy Debono should try her luck as a teacher after it was reported that she could lose her job at the Malta Gaming Authority unless she starts going to work more regularly. She then went on to sarcastically explain the working conditions of teachers.
“Kristy, I’ll suggest what work you had to do… but it’s at €1000 a month. Become a teacher. If you get a desk, you’ll have to share it, sometimes the toilets work but sometimes they don’t or else they’re dirty, water is only available sometimes and sometimes it’s yellow and can give you cancer.”
“If you’re lucky enough to have construction works ongoing at your school, you can go home covered in dust so that people can know how hard you’ve worked and you’ll even be able to skid through corridors.”
Here, her video took a more serious tone.
“I don’t know why construction works at schools never take place during the summer months. The ‘holidays’ are for teachers, not for [construction] workers. It cannot be that they can just carry out dangerous works while children are around. But anyway…”
“As a bonus, if you have naughty children and they make fun of you, you’ll have the pleasure of listening to them telling you where to stuff it and you’ll practically have to thank them for it. Because the poor guy has problems. You must understand him, Kristy, because you’re the adult and maybe you did something wrong, you know… “
Gauci works at Kulleġġ San Ġorġ Preca but didn’t specifically mention the school at all during her video. Nevertheless, she said that her school’s head and principal felt personally offended by the video and gave her 24 hours to remove it from her page. After she refused to do so, the school head gave her a formal warning of admonishment.
“I am notifying you that I have the intention to give you an admonishment for failing to obey my instructions given to you on Wednesday 19th February 2020 to remove a defamatory video that you have uploaded on the social media,” the letter, seen by Lovin Malta, reads. “In the video you are ridiculing the profession of the teacher and also criticising the works that are currently underway in your school. You are also making a number of false statements about your school.”
“You have five working days from the date of delivery of this notification to reply in writing and give reasons to exculpate yourself. If you fail to reply or the reasons you give are not accepted, a written admonishment will be issued and kept in your personal file for six months.”
Gauci told Lovin Malta that the school’s warning amounts to a clear attempt to censor her and is a sign that her superiors are offended by the truth.
“I didn’t mention a school but the principal misunderstood and said I mentioned a school.”
Lovin Malta has reached out to the school to inquire whether it considers this decision a form of censorship.