The PM’s public relations team might have thought twice about posting the photo, from a visit to the Bavneskolen school in Dalby in central Zealand on Thursday, had they looked a little closer at the pupils forming the backdrop to the opportunity.
“Thank you for an incredibly lovely visit this morning. It’s splendid to experience both children and teachers who are just happy to be back at school,” Frederiksen wrote aside the image, which she posted on Instagram and Facebook.
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Not everyone in the class was impressed by the presence of the PM, who posts frequently on the two social media websites but does not have her own Twitter account.
One of the ninth-grade students can be seen behind Frederiksen’s left shoulder discreetly raising the middle finger of his right hand in an offensive gesture towards the camera.
Broadcaster TV2 has spoken to the pupil in question, Nick Larsen, who said his raised middle digit was not aimed “specifically” at the prime minister.
“It was just an impulsive act, but I didn’t especially want her to visit,” the 15-year-old said.
He added that he assumed the photo was being taken for the class, rather than for national exposure.
“I had no idea. It was my sister and my friends who let me know that it was suddenly all over the place,” he told TV2.
Nevertheless, he added he is “allowed free expression, just like everyone else is”. TV2 writes that the teenager is dissatisfied with having been sent home from school for almost five months, and that he had asked Frederiksen whether people who are unable to take vaccines will be able to travel when vaccine passports are introduced.
“She said that you can travel to the EU and some other countries. But it would require a negative test and isolation and that kind of thing,” he told newspaper BT. He also said to BT that he is “not a fan of (Frederiksen) and what she does”.
“I think she should listen more to others. It’s as if she’s the only one who’s allowed to do things,” he explained.
Frederiksen’s Social Democratic party told BT it did not wish to comment on the photo.