President’s spokesman: President did not mean to insult handicapped people

President Miloš Zeman’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, has tried to tone down a highly controversial statement made by the head of state against inclusive education. On a visit to the regions, President Zeman said he was against handicapped children being taught at regular schools, saying this was a misery both for healthy and handicapped pupils who needed special attention. The statement elicited criticism from all sides, including from the head of the National Disability Council,Václav Krása and the country’s Ombudswoman, Anna Šabatová. Mr. Ovčáček said the president had not meant to insult handicapped people and had only referred to serious handicaps that would make the children themselves feel inadequate in a regular school environment.