Russian Teacher Fired For Complaining About Having To Use Microsoft Software

from the it's-that-damn-paperclip dept

While there's been a lot of attention paid in the last couple of months to Russia's use of Microsoft to charge nonprofit groups they don't like with copyright infringement (something that Microsoft is now trying to reverse), there was also another controversy in Russia a few years back concerning Microsoft. You may remember that Russian prosecutors were threatening to send a Russian school headteacher to a Siberian prison camp due to "pirated" software on school machines. In that case, the school had bought what it thought was legitimate copies of the software that later turned out not to be. The guy was found guilty, and while the court did spare him from being sent to Siberia (which really was one of the options), they did fine him half his monthly salary.

In response to this high profile case, many Russian schools started to switch to Linux, and in response to that, Russia apparently declared that all schools should switch to Linux-based software by 2008.

However, apparently that didn't actually happen. Glyn Moody points us to the news that another Russian school teacher has been fired for complaining that his school still used Microsoft software. Even though the 2007 order required schools to switch to Linux, apparently a training system the government is making the school use requires Microsoft Office. So the teacher filed a complaint, pointing out the contradiction in orders... and for his efforts he was fired.

This seems like a fairly ridiculous response to someone simply pointing out a contradiction in the rules, doesn't it?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Scoot Dub, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 2:57pm

    Every teacher should be fired any time they complain. It is the only reason I hated teachers, constantly complaining.

    "I don't get paid enough" ... "I had to buy these supplies with my own money"

     

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      kyle clements (profile), Oct 28th, 2010 @ 3:43pm

      Re:

      I don't know what country you are coming from, but in Canada, teachers ARE paid enough, and oddly, they don't complain about not being paid enough.

      of course, there are always a few greedy ones who want more, no matter what they get, but for the most part, once people are paid a decent wage, the issue of money is off the table, and they can complain about the work, instead.

       

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      abc gum, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 6:06pm

      Re:

      Johnny can't read? Tough, get over it already.

       

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    sehlat (profile), Oct 28th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    "ridiculous response"

    Hey, Mike, you're talking about a bureaucracy here. You were expecting maybe sweet reason?

    Heh. You don't read your own blog, obviously.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 28th, 2010 @ 3:17pm

    Heh

    "Your potential. To get fired."

     

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    Steven (profile), Oct 28th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Can't help myself

    In Soviet Russia, complaint fires you!

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Oct 28th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    Please Sir; can I have some more software?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    I had teachers that criticized Microsoft Operating systems.

    I hope MS doesn't try to sue them for defamation now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re: Can't help myself

    In Soviet Russia, this would happen in USA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    Russia will play ball for now since they want to get into the WTO. After they saw what China gained for doing so I doubt this will go any further, the teacher is a casualty of much higher interests and Russia is not a democracy so there is little people can do about it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 4:08pm

    Instead of bringing toys to children, Saint Nick should install Ubuntu on all Russian school computers in one night.

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Oct 29th, 2010 @ 7:56am

      Re:

      Wouldn't that be a kick in the pant ... the "saint nick worm"

      Today in the news. The StNick worm struck today using P2P technology, and a zero day flaw it replaced approximately 80% of all installed copies of windows with Ubuntu. There was no comment from MicroSoft as their phone switch was windows based ...

       

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    Wesha (profile), Oct 28th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    Mike, he was fired for complaining to the President, not for complaining in general. No manager ever appreciated subordinates complaining directly to higher-ups bypassing "over his head".

     

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    TDR, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 4:53pm

    Before Helmet chimes in, I thought I'd throw this out here (since the previous comment made it spring instantly to mind):

    DH: You went over my helmet?
    Spaceball: Not exactly over, sir. More to the side. It'll never happen again.
    DH puts on his schwartz ring
    Spaceball: Oh, s**t! Not that!
    DH: Yes, that!
    DH fires the schwartz ring.

    Though that punishment should really be inflicted upon Bill Gates for perpetuating such a bloated piece of crapware as Winblows in the first place.

     

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    SLK8ne, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 10:32pm

    Welcome to mother America tovarich

    Since the US seems to be heading down the same road (government wise) as Russia, look for more of that here. Of course it also means we're heading down the same road economically too. Anybody got a wheelbarrow I can borrow? I need to buy a loaf of bread.

    As for going over the manager's head, nobody in Russia would do that unless they were a)desperate or b) crazy. I'd guess desperate. When your higher ups decree that you use one piece of software, then insist on your using another that uses a different OS what are you to do? I'd be willing to bet this person was stonewalled by the middle management and only tried an end run as a last resort.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2010 @ 1:19am

    Several errors in the article.
    1. Schools were supposed to switch by the end of this year as this is the year when licenses for software bought for schools (which by the way includes photoshop cs2) expire (yes, Russia's government somehow managed to spend a shitload of money to buy time-limited software licenses)

    2. Russia's training system requires Windows and Internet Explorer (due to a few activex controls)

    3. The headteacher of the school with pirated software was not threatened to be sent into a siberian prison camp (only to jail). And by the way after he was found not guilty by the court (look into wikipedia for ponosov's case) the headteacher sued the government back for moral damages and won the case.

     

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    tax cpe, Oct 31st, 2010 @ 2:34am

    ...

    Sounds real bad for the teacher! He got two bad deals on a single mistake... tsk tsk tsk!

     

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