To: The Minister of Education of the Lithuanian SSR On September 9, 1981, the funeral of Mrs. Vanda Misiūnienė was held in Švenčionys. Her son Petras Misiūnas was an 8th-grader at the Švenčionys Middle School; therefore, twenty-six of his classmates attended the funeral. When the deceased was brought to the church, Homeroom Teacher (Mrs.) Nijolė Bieliauskienė chased all the students from the church, at the order of school Principal (Mrs.) Stuikienė.
The Church is separate from the school, therefore the teachers had no right to give orders in church, disrupting the solemnity of the services. The majority of the students who attended the funeral are believers and regularly attend church. The forcible expulsion of such students from the church is a crude violation of the right to practice religious cult.
Educators continually violate Soviet laws and are never punished Through such conduct, the educators debased both the dead and their families, and this is inconsistent with either pedagogy or human-ness. If the beliefs of older people are ridiculed, the young learn not to respect their elders, their parents, and become coarse. This leads them to humiliate people who hold different beliefs. It was probably under the influence of such unhealthy pedagogy that religious tombstones were destroyed in the Dūkštas, Rimšė, Plungė and other cemeteries.
When they prevent students from attending the funerals of believing persons, educators destroy their own authority. No one can respect an educator who does not practice the respect he preaches toward people who hold other beliefs.
What do teachers fear? That the students will hear the sermon? In such cases, priests will be forced to speak at the cemetery. Such teacher conduct is mere atheist fanaticism.
October 4, 1981 Father Edmundas Paulionis,
Assistant Pastor of the Švenčionys parish.
On October 27, 1981, the Švenčionys Education Department sent the following reply:
"Students of grade 8A and Homeroom Teacher Nijolė Bieliauskienė attended the funeral services of Vanda Misiūnienė. However, after laying down their flowers, the students left the church voluntarily and were not chased out by the homeroom teacher at the principal's order, as you stated in your letter. Homeroom Teacher Nijolė Bieliauskienė was not present in the church. The students left the church before the services began and therefore no disruption took place.
"The educators did not violate Soviet law by forbidding students
to attend church services, for the school is separate from the
Head of the Education Department
As seen from the response, the head of the Education Department is not even capable of telling a consistent lie. In one place he maintains that the students left voluntarily, in another that the educators forbade them to attend the services.
Prior to the 1981 Christmas holidays, atheists at the Z. Angarietis Middle school in Šakiai went into action to terrorize students. On December 23rd and 24th, Teachers (Mrs.) Liubinienė and (Mrs.) Būdvytienė took some students to the principal's office. There, they intimidated the students in various ways to keep them from going to church, ordering them to reveal which students sing in the church choir and attend church. It seems there were no traitors.
On December 24th, at 10:00 P.M., in the Church of Šakiai, Midnight Mass was going on. The city streets were full of teachers trying to catch students. KGB vehicles buzzed around the church. School Principal Matusevičienė, Teachers Malskis, (Mrs.) Malskienė, (Mrs.) Liubinienė, Zotovas, (Mrs.)Zotovienė, (Mrs.) Valaitienė, (Mrs.) Vaitkevičienė, (Mrs.) Bliūdžiuvienė, (Mrs.) Vyšniauskienė, Paušinis, Pečiukaitis, (Mrs.) Pečiukaitienė, (Miss) Ga-bartaitė and others accosted students who were on their way to church with their parents and ordered them to return home. Teacher Malskis and several other teachers even barged into the church. Many schoolchildren attended the services and the sanctuary was full of acolytes and worshippers. On the way home, the schoolchildren were hunted down even more vigorously. The teachers scolded them and took down their names; those children who were going home without their parents were accosted with special ferocity.
On December 17, 1981, Teacher (Mrs.) Songailienė ordered sixth .grade students at the Skaudvilė Middle School to write a composition entitled "The Greedy Pastor". Believing students Arvydas Šturna, Algis Kairys and others refused to write the composition. Unable to intimidate Arvydas Šturna.Teacher Songailienė chased him from the classroom. Algis Kairys followed him out. Out of 28 students, only five wrote the composition as the teacher had ordered. The rest either did not write anything or wrote the opposite. Students (Miss) Rima Mačiulytė and (Miss) Reda Liutvinaitė entitled their composition "The Good Pastor."
On December 22nd, Teacher (Mrs.) Banienė scolded the girls in the teachers' room and ordered them to explain in writing why they wrote such compositions.
Incensed by such teacher conduct, the students' mothers, (Mrs.) Šturmienė, (Mrs.) Mačiulienė and (Mrs.) Kairienė went to see the principal to defend their children agains such coercion. Teacher (Mrs.) Banienė excoriated the mothers who had come.
On November 22, 1981, the pastor of Kapčiamiestis, Father Ignas Plioraitis, announced that a commemoration would be held in church on November 28th, to honor the 150th anniversary of the death of Emilija Pleterytė, a member of the 1831 uprising.
On November 25th,Chekist Gylys questioned Sadeckas, sacristan at the Kapčiamistis church, as to whether the pastor speaks against the Soviet government, what type of commemoration he planned, whether guests from Poland would be present at the commemoration, etc.
Security agents warned employees not to participate in the Pleterytė commemoration or face prosecution.
On November 28th, soldiers patrolled the roads from early morning, checking the documents of travellers.
The commemo ration was held in the church and at Pleterytė's grave. The following day, students Vitas Sakavičius, Gintas Sakavičius, (Miss) Laima Ramanauskaitė and Andrius Sukackas who attended the commemoration, were interrogated at school.
On February 1, 1981, (Miss) Zita Šarakauskaitė, a third-year student at the Pedagogical School, was summoned to the principal's office. The chekist who awaited the girl in the office took her to the KGB department. The interrogator asked whether the girl was a believer, who her friends were, where her sister t (Miss) Ona Šarakauskaitė, works, etc.
On November 6, 1981 (Mrs.) Kazė Maksvytienė (residing in Šilutė at Kolūkiečių g. 14-7), sent a repeat petition to First Secretary Petras Griškevičius of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania, stating that Principal Dobranskienė of Šilutė Middle School No. 1 continually slanders her children, charging them with nonexistant offenses.
(Mrs) Maksvytienė relates how she was "educated" at the juvenyle department of the Šilutė militia because her children wear a cross on their jacket lapels.
On October 26, 1981, Kazė Maksvytienė was charged at the Rayon Executive Committee with slandering teachers and setting her children against them.
On January 19, 1982, grade 11B student Vytautas Gluosnys was summoned to the principal's office of Garliava Middle School No. 1. At the office, the schoolboy found a waiting chekist who was primarily interested in the believers' march to Šiluva. The chekist maintained that the security police is well aware that Vytautas Gluosnys was among those who attempted to reach Šiluva, furthermore, he violated the quarantine zone and must therefore now write an explanation. The schoolboy categorically refused to write any kind of explanation. The chekist accused Vytautas Gluosnys with transmitting "slanderous" information to the Vatican. The chekist threatened that, under current law, Gluosnys could be thrown into the security police cellars without being arrested and would then learn what happens to those who ignore and disobey. As he released him, the chekist warned Gluosnys to tell no one about their talk.
Kybartai (Rayon of Vilkaviškis)
On December 10, 1981,(Miss) A. Strakauskaitė, a teacher at the Kristijonas Donelaitis Middle School in Kybartai, interrogated one of her students, 10th-grader (Miss) Vida Merkevičiūtė, during recess.
"What did your parents say about your lower deportment grade? Don't think everything is finished. Because of some tramp, I have to make explanations to the principal and the security police. Things will not end well for you,"Homeroom Teacher Strakauskaitė insulted and threatened the girl. (During a birthday party in Vilkaviškis on November 14, 1981, Vida Merkevičiūtė was taken with other youngsters to the militia and interrrogated; as a consequence, her first trimester deportment grade was lowered to unsatisfactory.)
During their meeting, the homeroom teacher expressed interest in Vida's friends, and attempted to learn whether the girl spent her summer vacation with the same group of youngsters in the Rayon of Lazdijai near the Šlavantai lake.
On December 11, 1981, Vida Merkevičiūtė was interrogated by school Principal J. Dirvonskis. The principal commanded her to admit she spent her vacation in the Rayon of Lazdijai and ordered her to betray all the youngsters who were with her. The principal promised to tell no one of her betrayal and not even interrogate those students.
"We won't consider you a traitor and they won't know you betrayed them. Moreover, this isn't betrayal," explained teacher Strakauskaitė.
When he failed to learn anything, Principal Dirvonskis threatened Vida Merkevičiūtė "you'll eventually tell someone," and released her.
On December 18, 1981, Homeroom Teacher Strakauskaitė took Vida Merkevičiūtė to principal Dirvonskis' office where the girl was again "educated."
"Just once, sit down and think about everything, weigh it all," said the principal. "How will you raise children. It's time to think about this as well. What kind of family will you have? Think about it seriously! Finally, if you believe so fanatically, go ahead and believe, but don't organize others, don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong. If you want to graduate, think about this seriously."
On January 20, 1982, the parents of Vida Merkevičiūtė wrote a complaint to the Education Minister of the Lithuanian SSR protesting their daughter's persecution at the Kybartai Middle School. During the first trimester, Vida Merkevičiūtė's deportment grade was lowered to unsatisfactory "for disrespectful conduct toward teachers, lying and refusal to participate in competitions". Vida's parents wrote: "We did not allow our daughter to participate in the competition for it was held on Sunday and the distance to be run was 3 km. (1.9 miles). We feel that no programs or competitions should be held on Sundays. Sunday must be free from school and work because we, parents, wish to spend that time with our children.
"We protest our daughter's lower deportment grade. By what right did the school principal and homeroom teacher call the girl a tramp and a slut if she was neither drunk nor loitering?
"Please order the administration of the Kybartai Middle School to amend our daughter's deportment grade and cease terrorizing her."
The deportment grade was not amended, but the student's terrorization did cease.
On October 25, 1981, the Sunday when the second march to Šiluva was to take place, all rayon schools proclaimed a "health day" at the order of rayon Executive Committee Vice Chairman L'rbonas. All students were required to attend. Despite cold and rainy weather, competitions were to be held that day in the school stadiums. School administrators were warned "to ensure the participation of all students".
At first, some people did not understand why a "health day" was being planned at such an adverse time. However the real reason quickly became clear. Vilkaviškis Grammar School 8th-grader Juška took the bus to Šiluva that day. Documents were checked along the way. Several days later, the Education Ministry notified the school of Juška's trip. School Principal Lisauskas immediately summoned Juška and jeering him in a vulgar fashion, berated him, saying that the pupul had gone to Šiluva to overthrow the government. The homeroom teacher devoted an entire lesson to explaining what a terrible offense Juška had committed. Later, the student's father was summoned. He stated that their entire family is religious, listens to Vatican Radio and he is very pleased that his son attends church.
Čiulėnai (R a y o n of Molėtai)
The funeral of (Miss) Roma Tutinaitė, a 7th-gade student at the Čiulėnai Grammar School, was held on December 7, 1981. Her classmates and teachers escorted the casket to the church. Once the church steps were reached, the teachers began to chase the children away to keep them from entering the church, and ordered them to hand their flowers to adults. The adults refused to take them. Noise and confusion resulted. The people wanted to side with the schoolchildren. Some of the parents took their children and let them into the church. During the Mass, the other students sat in a bus where the teachers had herded them. During a zoology class on December 16th, Assistant Principal (Mrs.) Virginija Lukšienė ridiculed the parents of believing children who had taken their children into the church for the funeral services. The teacher called them stupid.
A fanatical campaign is waged against the religious-convictions of believing students at the E. Tiekus Middle School in Rokiškis. Teacher (Mrs.) Milda Dilienė is the school's most active atheist. With great fury, she persecutes students, organizes teacher "excursions" to churches to record the names of students who attend church, and afterward terrorizes them.
During an algebra class on November 24, 1981, Teacher (Mrs.) Aldona Jurkonienė crudely ridiculed believing student (Miss) Danguolė Belickaitė.
Every month, atheist programs are held for the ninth grade. Believing students are forcibly driven to these programs. Teacher
Dilienė continually threatens the students: "Those who do not attend the atheist programs will receive lower deportment grades."
Other teachers, (Miss) Bitinaitė, (Mrs.) Mikolojūnienė and (Mrs.) Paškevičienė and do not lag behing teacher Dilienė in using every opportunity to demean believing students.
Josvainiai (Rayon of Kėdainiai)
In 1981 Homeroom Teacher (Mrs.) Eitutienė of grade 5A at the Josvainiai Middle School ordered the students who attend church to raise their hands. Out of thirty children, twenty-five raised their hands. The schoolchildren were then interrogated: when did they receive First Communion, who sings in church, etc. When homeroom teacher Eitutienė noticed that majority of youngsters go to church, she began to ridicule God, believers and the Church. At this point, pupil (Miss) Onutė Tunaitytė (who made her First Communion this summer) boldly asked the teacher: "Why are you interfering in Church affairs?" Although the enraged Soviet educator heaped the vilest names on the girl, nearly the entire class was proud and happy that Onutė had had the courate to speak the truth.
On February 26, 1982, (Miss) Irena Baranauskaitė, a 9th-grader at the Jablonskis Middle School in Kapsukas (Principal Ver-byla, Homeroom Teacher (Mrs.) Plečkaitienė) was expelled from school and ordered to transfer immediately to the Vilkaviškis Middle School. (Her mother (Mrs.) Albina Baranauskienė, a widow with 8 children, lives on the Keturvalakiai Collective Farm in the Rayon of Vilkaviškis.).
The reason for Irena Baranauskaitė's expulsion was because on December 5, 1981, she together with a relative, Teresė Kojutytė, attended a Mass offered in the neighborhood by the ailing Father P. Šulskis.
This order was later rescinded.
Vištytis (Rayon cf Vilkaviškis)
At the beginning of the 1981 academic year, the persecution of believing children at the Vištytis Middle School became more pronounced. Students (Miss) Želvytė, Šeškauskas and (Miss) Keido-šytė were interrogated to find wheteher they had taken part in the march to Šiluva during vacation. The teachers forbade the schoolchildren to go to the cemetery in procession on the eve of All Souls'
Day, to serve at Holy Mass, etc. Teacher (Miss) Mordosaitė scolded student Juozas Saukaitis for helping believers obtain Christmas wafers before Christmas.
As the Christmas holidays approached, Teachers (Mrs.) Daugėlienė, Zdanavičius and others ordered the students who believe in God, attend church and received invitations to come to church to see Santa Claus on Christmas Day, to raise their hands. Teacher (Mrs.) Zdanavičienė ordered first-and second-grade students to confirm in writing and sign that they believe.
During class, Teacher Zdanavičius explained to the fifth-graders that God does not exist and ridiculed the Faith in various ways. Not knowing how to protest, the youngsters covered their ears with their hands and began to talk loudly. Although the Soviet educator repeatedly asked the class to quiet down, the schoolchildren continued their protest to the end of the class. Thus, fifth-graders defended their faith.
Lukšiai (Rayon of Šakiai)
In 1981, 9th-grade Homeroom Teacher (Mrs.) Adomaitienė at the Lukšiai Middle School summoned her pupil Konstantinas Kriš-tokaitis and ordered him to join the Communist Youth League. When the pupil explained that he is a believer and besides his parents would not allow him to join and that he himself did not want to, the teacher tried to convince him: "You'll harm your future; Explain to your parents the bad things that await you if you don't join the Communist Youth." The student remained steadfast.