Serbian Education Minister Branko Ruzic resigned on Sunday, four days after a 13-year-old boy killed eight of his schoolmates and the school principal, and wounded a teacher and six other students in a school shooting.
The politician said that he had offered his resignation on the day of the school shooting. After reflecting on the matter during the three days of national mourning, he decided this was the only sensible and fair decision as a responsible and professional man, parent and Serbian citizen.
In his resignation letter to Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Branko Ruzic expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and asked God to help them prevent such an event from happening again.
“The dramatic images of what happened at the school and the tears shed by the inconsolable parents of the murdered children will be branded into my soul for the rest of my life,” he wrote.
Branko Ruzic, a member of the minority Socialist party in the ruling coalition, has been Serbia’s education minister since 2020. In his statement, he thanked all those with whom he had worked over the past three years, as well as Ana Brnabic, in whose government he had previously served as minister of state administration and local self-government.
The politician expressed his hope that the country’s justice-loving citizens, as well as political opponents, will see that in this pain and struggle, there must be unity so that good can overcome evil and justice can overcome injustice, according to Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet.
“My resignation is a personal but also a political act, a sign of strength in more developed, democratic societies, but very often a sign of weakness in our region. Let public opinion decide,” concluded his statement.
In the wake of the attack, President Aleksandar Vučić proposed to lower the criminal prosecution age from 14 to 12 years.
As Remix News reported, a 14-year-old boy was arrested for a shooting at a school in the Serbian capital of Belgrade last Wednesday morning, leaving at least nine dead and several more seriously injured. Police were dispatched to the Vladislav Ribnikar general school in central Belgrade shortly after 8:40 a.m. amid reports of a mass shooting by a student.