Photo Credit: Andrzej Rudiak
The gallery at the Auschwitz Jewish Center, Nov. 6, 2017.

Barbara Nowak, the Education Superintendent of a province in southeastern Poland, handed parliament a list of organizations and foundations which, in her opinion, should be banned from having access to state schools because they “sexualize” children under the pretext of education, Fakt reported last week.

The list includes the Jewish Center in Oświęcim (Auschwitz), the Association of Families of People with Down Syndrome, a foundation running a helpline for young people, Amnesty International, Dziewuchy Dziewuchom – a grassroots organization fighting anti-abortion laws, and the Factory Equality. The list was put together with the help of the extreme right-wing Catholic think tank Ordo Iuris, and the Parents Protect Children Association.


Representatives of the organizations on the blacklist did not hide their indignation. Tomasz Kuncewicz, the director of the Jewish Center in Oświęcim, said “the aforementioned list is an attempt to defame, slander and hate. A new law enacted recently in Poland will require school principals to obtain a permit from the authorities before running classes that are associated with the groups on the blacklist.

Kuncewicz complained to the province as well as to the American embassy in Warsaw about Nowak’s list.

As Fakt put it: “Apparently, Barbara Nowak, the very controversial School Superintendent in Małopolska, dislikes not only organizations promoting sexual education, but also Jews, people suffering from Down’s syndrome, and even has a thing for running a helpline for young people. She wants to forbid them from entering schools because she accuses them of ‘destroying social norms’ and ‘sexualizing’ children.”

The Empowering Children Foundation, another group on the blacklist, runs a helpline for children and adolescents. They issued a statement saying: “During 13 years of operation, we received over 1.4 million calls, responded to over 92 thousand messages, and carried out over 3.3 thousand interventions in situations of threat to the health or life of a child.” The foundation is concerned that being on Barbara Nowak’s list would harm its government funding.

Also: the Polish Teachers’ Union is on the list – which would make it impossible for teachers in the province to go to work.

Barbara Nowak has made a name for herself for her far-right views. In a radio interview about her blacklist, she called Covid-19 vaccinations an experiment on people and argued against making teachers receive the vaccines.


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