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500 high schools in occupation: students and parents … detained!

A wave of occupations by protesting students across the country has called in prosecutors and police in schoolyards. At the same time, Greek media report of detentions of students and even their parents, of preventive detentions for no actual reason and an incident of police violence against a high school boy, a minor.

According to a  teacher at the 1st high School of Cholargos suburb of Northern Athens, policemen in civilian clothes  chased four students who were not inside the school building. “Two of the boys panicked, the policemen chased them, one of them used violence against one of the boys. The boys were taken to police station in handcuffs and were later released,” ProtoThema reports about the incident.

In Lamia, in Central Greece, 9 students and 8 parents were taken in custody, after the mother of a student had filed a lawsuit against the occupants.

The detainees spent the night at the local police station and were released at 4 o’ clock in the morning. The prosecutor filed lawsuits against both the minor students and their parents. The offenses against the students are for “disrupting domestic peace”, while the parents will be on trial for “neglecting their supervision duty towards a minor,” local news website LamiaReport notes.

Supreme Court prosecutor  called on prosecutors around the country on Tuesday to make efforts to ensure public schools are not being damaged during sit-ins by students. The prosecutors are been called to take legal action against any adults entering school grounds and causing damage and also against parents if pupils engage in criminal acts during protests.

The prosecutor’s interventions triggered an strong reaction among students and parents, with Education Minister Andreas Loverdos claiming this morning that it was not the Ministry that asked  for justice authorities to intervene.

With their actions, high school students protest a series of  austerity-dictated changes in the school system like “the new examination systemthe so-called “topics bank for exams, the changes for a new model of high school, the underfunding of schools and the shortage in teachers. Minister Loverdos defended the changes saying “I have no money!”

The occupations are being supported by the Youth section of left-wing SYRIZA.

On Tuesday, some 500 schools were under occupation since the start of the week, while their number shrunk to 364 out of total 13,500 schools across the country on Wednesday.

However, even though just a few hundreds of schools are under occupation by protesting students, schools are closed on Wednesday, because teachers rushed to unions conventions held on a school working day in order to elect their representatives in “education personnel unions.” We live in Greece, right?


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