The principal of the Goce Delcev high school in Kumanovo ordered the doors closed today, to stop the students from joining the large protests for clean air.

The rallies, inspired by Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for future movement, are being held in a number of Macedonian cities, but principals and teachers, often those close to the ruling SDSM party, tried to prevent the embarrassing image of protests so close to the April 2020 elections, and were trying to scare the students into staying in school. This often backfired, and in Skopje the Nikola Karev high-school principal was quickly dismissed by her SDSM party after her clumsy threats were booed off by the students.

But in Kumanovo, the reaction of the principal was even more extreme. He had the main entrance to the high school locked to prevent the students from leaving.

Протест за чист воздух на средношколци во Куманово

Средношколците во Куманово спречени да протестираат

Gepostet von Republika Nedelnik am Freitag, 20. Dezember 2019

In other high schools, the students posted online messages about the threats and intimidation they are faced with if they join the strike, with teachers warning them they will get poor grades if they disobey.