To: The LSSR Council of Ministers
From: Parents and Relatives of Pupils in the City of Gargždai, Klaipėda Rayon
We, the parents, grandparents and friends of the school children, come to you with a very important question:
On February 16, Principal Jacikas of Gargždai Middle School I, summoned Fourth Class pupil Saulius Lingevičius read him names some names from a list and asked the pupil which of those children went to church. Some of them, the boy identified.
Lingevičius told his friends about his interview wi th the principal. Our children learned of the list which had been drawn up, and from them, we found out. Such behavior on the part of the principal shocked us greatly; he is preparing, through the homeroom teachers and in other ways, to persecute our children for going to church.
We strenuously protest this beahvior on the part of the principal We also demand for ourselves and for our children that freedom of conscience guaranteed by the Constitution and resect for our rights in the area of childrearing.
The principal is already teaching small children to betray their friends and to stir up discord among themselves when everywhere friendship is being proclaimed.
The principal should have learned from the events of January 16 of this year, when two recent pupils of this school, while burglarizing a storeroom belonging to their teachers, burned to death and their cohort reported to the militia. It was precisely such who obeyed the principal's wish by not going to church. Apparently, he wants to make our children I ike them.
Director Klizas of the Rayon Peoples' Department of Education, wrote in the newspaper Banga (The Wave), on February 14 of this year: "Often during breaks, we speak frankly with teachers who have devoted more than one decade of their life to the school, but complain that the older pupils are somehow impossible to understand, lacking in manners, and disrespectful of their teachers.
"This is not to be said about all pupils, but about those who cause the school most concern; those whose cases are pending in various juvenile courts and the desired results continue to be elusive."
In order to educate them, he suggests "looking at the picture of the hero in literature..."
How much wi11 imaginary heroes help, if more serious practical measures do not help? It is precisely such who no longer feel responsibility to higher authority because they have been reared atheistically. The facts show that our children, who believe in God, would not do so. However, the anti-religious propaganda of the principal and the teachers, and the constant ridiculing of children who believe, is an attempt to make our children good-for-nothing.
We therefore ask you to warn the principal and teachers not to persecute our children for their religion, and not to interfere in our dut ies.
February 19, 1984 Signed by 300 individuals
On March 27, 1985, Marytė Gudaitytė, a student in Group I I I-3 of the of the Nursing Division of the P. Mažylis School of Medicine in Kaunas was summoned before the Director of the school, Mrs. Tamašauskienė. Having inquired how her studies were coming along and where she was being appointed, the director told Miss Gudaitytė that she must immediately report to the KGB where a Comrade Jocas, who had wished to speak with Marytė the day before, was waiting for her.
At the KGB, Jocas promised, "If you speak openly and do not lie, we won't take long, and we wi11 part as friends. The KGB agent placed on the table Christmas greeting letters written by Miss Gudaitytė to Father Alfonsas Svarinskas, Father Sigitas Tamkevičius and Balys Gajauskas. The chekist demanded that she answer in writing the following questions: Where she obtained the prisoners' addresses? Who told her to send them greetings? Where and with whom she wrote them?
Moreover, he tried to convince her that the convicts are terrible anti-Soviet criminals, and so, writing them letters is a great crime. When Miss Gudaitytė refused to submit a statement, the chekist began threatening her. "We'll call your advisor, the director and stand you up in front of the whole class..."
He even promised to change her assignment: Instead of Prienai, to send her to work in Skuodas, further from her parents and friends. The KGB chief threatened not to release her from custody until she made a written statement.
When the student repeatedly refused to write a statement, one of the chekists scolded her, "If you don't write your explanation it means that you are dissatisfied with the Soviet government, so we must dismiss you from a Soviet school, because working as a nurse, you could administer poison instead of medicine to your enemies!"
After approximately two hours of "education", the student was released. Letting her go, Chekist Jocas told her to report to the school director. At school, Director Tamašauskienė and Instructor, Mrs. Pečiulienė, continued the "education" begun in the KGB offices. Both of them tried to convince Miss Gudaitytė that she had committed a great crime which could be atoned for only by obeying KGB Agent Jocas. Otherwise, she would be dismissed from school.
"What can you be thinking of? You're five minutes away from having your diploma in hand... The newspapers wrote that Fathers Svarinskas and Tamkevičius had been sentenced for ant i-Soviet activity, politics, and so the maintaining of any ties with them is considered a crime.
"Now all your friends will abandon you, since you already have been involved with the KGB. No one will trust you, and they, on the other hand, will not give you any peace. Your every step will be watched... We need nurses very badly and those who are religious believers do their work more conscientiously, but when such things happen, you may be sure that you shall not receive any certification that you studied in our school. No one will hire you, even as a nurses' aide.
"You may pick up your pay slip and go home. There will be work on the communal farm, but just remember, you have messed up your own life. Not only your own, but your brother will not be allowed to work in the factory, and your other two brothers who are planning to enter the seminary shouldn't even think about it," Director Tamošauskienė tried to move her. (One of Miss Gudaitytė's brothers was accepted for the Kaunas Seminary this year.)
Since there was no order to expel I her from school, Miss Gudaitytė continued to attend classes.
On April 2, Chekist Jocas showed up at the nursing school to speak with Marytė. The KGB agent insisted that Miss Gudaitytė address to the chief of the KGB in writing her answers to the questions raised in their last interview. The student, arguing that she had not committed any crime, refused to make any statement. "Put down that you heard the prisoners' addresses as you yourself say, over Vatican Radio, and everything will be over. You consider yourself innocent, so write down that you do not feel guilty," demanded the KGB agent. Miss Gudaitytė categorically refused to wr i te.
On April 4, Miss Gudaitytė's parents were summoned to the school and "the unsuitable behavior of their daughter", in the words of the director, was described to them. When the father said that he could not understand such a crime -- after all, letters may be written to anyone -- Director Tamašauskienė admitted that everything was run by the KGB, and if their daughter was not of a mind to write a statement, she should come to pick up her papers.
On April 9, on the bulletin board there was an announcement that Marytė Gudaitytė, daughter of Antanas, was being expelled from school "for actions incompatible with behavior of a Soviet student". Besides the writing of letters to convicts, a whole list of faults was mentioned, on account of which Marytė could not work as a nurse: She keeps visiting her brother for mysterious reasons, she is uncommunicative, and does not mingle wi th the group...
On April 12, Miss Gudaitytė wrote the following statement to Minister for Advanced and Special Intermediate Education:
"I am a student of Group 111-3 of the Nursing Division of the P. Mažylis School of Medicine in Kaunas. In the course of my studies, I have never been among those who were left behind, I am the Prefect of our study group, I am organizer of physical activities for our group and I have received a commendation for good work in helping out on the communal farm of Plokščiai.
"On March 27, 1985, I was summoned before the director of the school, where my personal correspondence was discussed. There were several other interviews, after which I was not allowed to go for my factory practicum, with no reason given. Without a decision by a meeting of the Teachers' Board, and without any explanation from me, Order No. 198 was posted on the bulletin board of the School of Medicine on April 9, 1985, to the effect that I was being expelled from school for activities incompatible for a Soviet student. In the verdict of the Director's meeting, there are many Iies.
"Since I have not committed any crime, I request the Comrade Minister to allow me to go for my factory practicum and take my state boards."
That same day, Miss Gudaitytė's classmates sent the minister a petition in which they wrote: "We the undersigned, students at the Division of Nursing of the P. Mažylis School of Medicine in Kaunas, knew our classmate, the Prefect of Subgroup A, Marytė Gudaitytė, daughter of Antanas, as a conscientious, hardworking, friendly, cheerful student who did not conceal her beliefs, and we request the Comrade Minister to allow her to finish nursing school."
At the ministry, even after the petition was delivered and, a week later, when Miss Gudaitytė came to find out the decision of the meeting, it was explained to her that she had been expelled on good grounds, because the aforesaid priests are anti-Soviet criminals and greeting them is incompatible with the behavior of a Soviet student. Her classmates --Miss Naglytė, Miss Velickaitė, Miss Blaževičiūtė, Miss Ambrasaitė, Miss Liutkauskaitė, Miss Maslinikaitė, Miss Kairaitytė, Miss Senavaitytė -- who tried by their petition to defend Miss Gudaitytė, were required to write statements promising that they would not sign such a petition again. Director Tamašauskienė tried to convince the students that the priests Alfonsas Svarinskas and Sigitas Tamkevičius are ant-Soviet criminals, and warned Miss Ambrasaitė that she also was on the KGB list, and might not receive her diploma.
On May 14, Marytė Gudaitytė addressed a petition to General Secretary M. Gorbachev of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, USSR, spelling out the reasons for her expulsion from school and demanding that she be allowed as someone not having committed any crime, to finish the Nursing Division of the P. Mažylis School of Medicine. On May 25, Miss Gudaitytė received from the Ministry for Higher and Special Intermediate Education of Lithuania a reply as follows:
"Commissioned by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the ministry repeatedly considered your petition. It has been decided that you broke the rule of conduct for a Soviet student. The Ministry has no grounds for changing the decision of the Nursing Division of the P. Mažylis School of Medicine in Kaunas. This has been explained to you in detail during your interview.
Superintendent of the Executive Committee of Special Intermediate Schools, J. Stonys
S k a u d v i l ė (Tauragė Rayon)
On September 8, 1985, His Excellency Bishop Antanas Vaičius of Telšiai, came to the church in Skaudvilė, where the Solemnity of the Exultation of the Cross was being celebrated. By order of the Rayon authorities, an obligatory track meet was scheduled for the schoolchildren to coincide with the main Mass on Sunday, so that they might not be able t participate in meeting the bishop. About half of all the schoolchildren participated in the competition. After the solemnity, some of the teacher visited the parents of children who are believers, scolding them for letti their children go to church, instead of participating in the competition.