Fact Check: Romanian School Is NOT a Prison Designed As Part Of A 15-Minute City Concept

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Romanian School Is NOT a Prison Designed As Part Of A 15-Minute City Concept Safe School

Did a school in Bucharest, Romania, impose new prison-like security measures to abide by regulations of the "15-minute city" concept? No, that's not true: a middle school in Bucharest's District 3 had been recently modernized to European Union standards with secure entries that use facial recognition technology and has nothing to do with the so-called 15 Minute City concept of urban planning.

The claim originated from a video published by TikTok user @deputatmihailasca (archived here) on June 10, with Mihai Lasca, an independent member of Parliament, saying:

These criminals are transforming schools into prisons, keeping children like cattle, similar to how schools are being run in China's 15-minute cities?

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-06-15 at 09.28.48.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Jun 15 06:14:05 2023 UTC)

The school showcased in the video is the middle school no. 80, situated in Bucharest's District 3. The video shows secure entries to the school, which uses facial scanning technology to identify those entering the school. The updates to the school are part of a program started in 2012 to modernize, extend and rehabilitate numerous educational facilities throughout the District.

Safer entryways into schools are designed to safeguard children and not keep them in a prison-like setting. Moreover, the updates are not related to a so-called 15-minute city concept allegedly spread in China or elsewhere. The "15-minutes" is an urban planning concept focused on building more compact, walkable communities where people are less reliant on cars, in which everyone living in a city would be within a 15-minute walk or bike ride of essential services.

The speaker, Mihai Lasca, is a known misinformation purveyor elected to Parliament as a member of the far-right AUR party but later removed by the party leadership in 2021. He is currently an MP in an unaffiliated capacity.


  Lead Stories Staff

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