Only 25 pupils from 130 in total went to primary school of Skoutari, in Northern Greece, on Friday. 105 pupils abstained from classes in protest of 10 refugee children who started their education in the school.
It was in fact the parents and the guardians of the 105 pupils who launched this protest to express their objections to the refugee children.
“Parents’ protests are excessive,” Regional Director of Education in Macedonia Panagiotis Ananiadis told local media, stressing that “the arguments of the parents are not related to the reality”.
He added that the prosecutor in Serres could intervene as he did in 2016, when pupils abstained from classes for the same reasons.
Parents and guardians of the Skoutari school sent an out of court order to the head of primary education of Serres, the Mayor of the city and the vice regional government asking that a school within the refugee structure will be established.
Worth noting that the majority of Skoutari inhabitants are Greek refugees from Pontos and Asia Minor.
Similar incidents have taken place also in other schools in Northern Greece in the past few years, and on the island of Chios beginning of school last month.
The “protest” of Skoutari triggered an outrage with any Greeks lash out at the parents as “racists.”
Teacher Giota Mpaniou who teaches English in a school 9 km away from Skoutari described her experience with the refugee children who also started classes last week.
“The majority of these children standing in front of us has experienced the horror of the war, they have been wandering from camp to camp in the last 2-3 years, they were forced to leave behind their homeland, a warm bed, their grandparents, often also their own mothers. All they want is 4- or 5-hour classes and a bit of the school yard as an opportunity to feel they are children again.”
Teacher Mpaniou made public two drawings by a 6-year-old Yezidi child on the first day of school.
The boy speaks 2-3 words Greek, the teacher said adding that the child has finished his drawings while the other children were just starting.
The class was asked to draw a …rainbow.