Marianella Kloka reporting from Greece
A group of 1130 parents in the island of Chios (Eastern Aegean), have decided several days ago to send an extrajudicial document to the Directors of 5 primary schools of the island, aiming to intimidate them and – as a result – not to accept the children of the refugees in their schools. Reacting in this threat, two of the five Directors, wrote their statement and published it widely. They explain that first they cannot disobey the Ministry’s order but mainly they say that it is a matter of their conscience not allowing them to exclude any student from the public education. They also accuse the barbaric policies that are implemented by the EU against the refugees and the wars that are incited by governments, mainly responsible for creating the refugee flows. We state some parts of their open letters, that were published in the Greek page of Pressenza .
Extract from the open letter of Director, Mr Skoufalos
“I consider important as a person to declare that I advocate since the beginning for the closure of BIAL’s hotspot and for the eviction of the refugees from the island to the mainland, respecting their rights and especially their right to a decent life, which it is denied by the agreements of EU, NATO and Turkey, issues for which you (note: addresses himself to the 1130 parents) don’t mention anything.
Since the beginning the issue of hosting children of refugees in our school was brought up, myself but also the board of the teachers we have decided to support those children that are victims of the wars of imperialism (under the military or economic context).
Our decision comes not only from our civil servant status, which obliges us to obey to the legal frame that governs State decisions, despite its incoherence or its policies, but mainly from our conscience, our values and our principles as teachers, the objectives that a school must have, written or unwritten, in order to secure the basic right that children have to education, independently of race, color, nationality.”
Extract from the open letter of Director, Mrs Kotti
“No way, 1130 parents that signed the extrajudicial documents! You cannot scare us! We are not afraid of you! We refuse to be part of your racist or xenophobic games! We shall not succumb to intimidation or your pre-election games!
Yes, 1130 parents that signed the extrajudicial documents, we lived and we still live the consequences of the refugee’s flows, we fully understand everything that the local population has suffered in Suda or in Chalkios. We understand the burden that the island of Chios and all the east Aegean islands carry. But instead of targeting innocent souls, spend in a positive direction your time and energy and gather not only 1130 signatures, but thousands more in order to “stop the world industry of creation of refugees”!
Yes, 1130 parents that signed the extrajudicial documents, we have and always have our open arms and the possibility to face your children straight in the eyes! When your children understand your acts will you be able to look at them straight in the eyes?”