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When it comes to many social issues -- from religious tolerance to gay rights to opportunities for the disabled -- the Czech Republic stands ahead of many of its post-Communist counterparts.

And then there are other rights for the Roma.

According to local web site, a Prague language school came up with the inventive idea of dressing up a crew of Roma construction workers in bright yellow T-shirts that said: "I should have studied harder." The construction crew got beers and cigarettes and agreed to pose for photographs.

Everyone at the language school thought that was very funny. It wasn't until a Roma rights group weighed in, joined by some passers-by and the head of a school that trains manual workers -- that they began to reconsider.

Call it progress.

-- Jeremy Bransten

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