Original article (in Bosnian) was published on 29/08/2022
There is a video that’s been spreading on social media of a woman who claims she was fined in Germany for refusing to let her child come to school dressed as the opposite sex. It is a complete fabrication.
On August 20, 2022, the Twitter account of Ivica Bozic published a short video with the description:
The testimony of our sister Milka, who lives and works in Germany. She wants to return to Serbia. That’s why she supported us during the petition to ban gayball. The conditions she had in the EU will not pass in Serbia. Male will remain male, and female, female.
The video shows a woman presented as “Sister Milka”, who claims:
We received a letter from the ministry that boys should wear a dress on Tuesday or if we have a daughter to dress up as a boy so that the children will find out if they are male or female since there is no more “I have son, I have a daughter”. We all have children, and those children can decide for themselves what gender they are. And since I told the teacher that I don’t want to dress my son in a dress because my son wants to wear a jersey every day, like Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe, and that he knows for sure that he is a boy and that he wants to play football and that there is no need to put on a dress to think whether he is a girl or not, I had to pay a fine of 263 euros because my son did not go to school as a girl. And that’s why I want to go back because I don’t want my child to be something he’s not.
A post on Ivica Bozic’s Facebook profile stated that the video was made in Nis.
What are the facts?
Apart from the obvious fact that it was summer vacation in most German provinces at the time this video was published, the claims made by “Sister Milka” contain several inconsistencies and factual inaccuracies.
Our partner web portal Faktograf dealt with this topic in the analysis from August 26, 2022.
By doing a Google search of the term “reverse gender day in German schools”, the only reports we came across about students who dress as the opposite gender in German schools are related to the so-called thematic weeks (1, 2).
“Thematic week” is a tradition in some German schools and implies that students of the final grades dress up in costumes according to a certain theme every day in the last week of school. On the Internet, you can find photos of students dressed as pensioners, in the style of the 80s or in clothes typical of the opposite sex (1, 2, 3, 4). This is how students celebrate the end of the school year.
We also found an article from 2014, which states that the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany launched a project in which students from fifth to tenth grade participated in a “role reversal” day. This project meant that girls try their hand at professions that are stereotypically considered male, such as programming and crafts, while boys try their hand at cooking, caregiving and education.
We could not find reports of schools forcing elementary school students to dress as the opposite sex.
We also found no evidence that a parent could be fined under any law for not wanting to dress their child a certain way for school.
This was confirmed by the German Conference of Ministers of Education (Kúltusministerkonferenz). In response to our inquiry, in which we asked for a comment on “Sister Milka’s” claims, they said that such an order from the Ministry of Education would be absurd and added that such an event would be “impossible” even at the school level.
So, there is no evidence that the woman from the viral clip lives in Germany, that events are organized in German schools where children must come dressed as the opposite sex, nor evidence that parents could be fined if they refuse to participate in such events.
While citing claims from social networks, some media reported that the woman in the video is a Russian woman who does not actually live in Germany but in Nis, and that she works at the Russian-Serbian humanitarian center. However, no evidence was presented for this claim either.
Therefore, the story of “Sister Milka” is invented and “embellished” with claims that have no basis in facts. The publication of this video coincides with other homophobic narratives that are spreading ahead of this year’s EuroPride in Belgrade, which is scheduled to take place in September.
Given all the facts, the claim that “sister Milka” received a fine in Germany because she refused to bring her son to school in a dress, originally published on the Twitter account of Ivica Bozic, we assess as fake news.
We assess all transmissions of this claim as the distribution of fake news.