Beslan teachers send letter to Putin one year after school siege looking for truth

Teachers of Beslan school No. 1, destroyed in last September’s siege, have sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the first anniversary, Ekho Moskvy radio station reported.

See photo report of the siege

The teachers claim in the letter that over the past year neither the former president of North Ossetia Alexander Dzasokhov nor his replacement, Taimuraz Mamsurov, agreed to meet them.

“Our school, which experienced an unprecedented terrorist attack and the consequences that followed it, was suddenly threatened with complete annihilation,” the teachers write. “It is being stripped of the number under which it has existed for more than 100 years, and that now is a symbol of the continuation of a normal life for teachers, pupils and parents.”

The teachers claim this was one of the terrorists’ aims. “They (the terrorists) failed to [destroy the school]. But now the officals are the ones who are doing it.”

“We - the teachers - have been the object of constant criticism all year. We were accused of surviving. We were accused of non-fulfillment of our professional duties (while only special forces troops are professionals in those situations). They (local people) tried to split up our group. All this affected both us and our students and undermined our authority in their opinion. The soil has already been prepared: the children’s belief in adults was strongly undermined after the terror act. If we fail to uphold our positions, this belief will be undermined once and for all.

“We feel responsibility both for those killed and those who survived. The memory of the former needs to be revered; the latter need to be taken care of. These things do not contradict each other.”

The letter reads that many former students of school No. 1 will also keep the memory of the school alive, reports Mosnews.

According to BBC, One year on, many mothers in Beslan, in Russia's North Ossetia region, still wear mourning.

The sense of loss here is as sharp as ever - but there is anger too, now directed at the Russian authorities, the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Beslan says.

People in Beslan are still looking for answers and talking of a cover-up, our correspondent says.

They want to know how so many gunmen made it to their school in the first place, and why officials refused to negotiate.

And most of all they want to know exactly who was responsible for the siege ending in a bloodbath.

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