Saraya gomis quits: unfortunate departure

Saraya Gomis, anti-discrimination officer for Education Senator Sandra Scheeres (SPD), will no longer be available for the position from 2020.

With passion: Saraya Gomis Photo: Britta Pedersen/dpa

Saraya Gomis doesn’t like it anymore: the anti-discrimination officer of Education Senator Sandra Scheeres (SPD) doesn’t want to reapply for the position when her job expires on January 1, 2020. "I did my job with a lot of passion and I am very unhappy to have to take this step," Saraya Gomis told taz on Thursday.

Unfortunately, however, she sees no other alternative for herself. Gomis did not want to be more specific, referring to her ongoing employment. She had informed the education administration of her decision at the beginning of the week, but had not yet received any reaction to her announcement.

In response to an inquiry from taz, they say that they "could very well have imagined a further collaboration. It is "a pity" that Gomis decided not to reapply, according to a spokesperson for Senator Scheeres.

"The education administration has repeatedly failed to provide her with sufficient support," believes Edwin Greve of the Migration Council, meanwhile, which has worked with Gomis on a regular basis. There one knew on Thursday also already of Gomis’ decision – and regrets it very much: "This is a bitter loss for us," says Greve. "In recent years, she has been quite instrumental in ensuring that things have progressed with prevention work and the qualification of teachers and school administrators in anti-discrimination work."

In an interview with the taz six months ago, Gomis had said that she saw her work as being on the right track: "There are now definitely schools, and last year there were more of them, that are actively approaching me. She also sees it as a success that the education administration wants to start – as it has actually done this year – to train all school administrators in "discrimination-critical" ways.

Much mistrust and rejection

However, she said at the time that there was often still a lot of mistrust and rejection of her work in the colleges when it came to this sensitive issue – even when there had already been specific incidents that needed to be dealt with.

Saraya Gomis

"I was very passionate about my job and I’m very unhappy to have to take this step."

If the schools refuse Gomis’ help, she has no recourse so far: Her visit is not a mandatory part of crisis management.

The education administration, meanwhile, emphasizes that it wants to further expand and strengthen the position of the anti-discrimination officer: started in 2017 as a pilot project – still unique in Germany – the position is now "permanently anchored and established for an unlimited period. Now, two half-time positions are to be added, which are also already in the process of being advertised, according to Scheeres’ spokesperson. An anti-bullying officer is also to be appointed.

The Migration Council now asked the education administration to explain "according to which criteria the position will be filled from 2020 and how the procedure will be designed." It added that the resignation of "the only black woman at the management level of the Senate administration" was "shameful for the Berlin Senate."

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