Call for coordination in response to the attacks in kindergartens
Academics from the Pedagogical Departments express their worry and the need for coordinated action in the field of education against the Golden Dawn, according to their petition that was forwarded to the Ministry of Education by DIMAR’s MP Maria Repousi.
It is a report written by Academics from the Network for Practical Exercise of the Pedagogical Departments of Preschool Education “regarding the necessity for immediate action taken by teachers from all levels against the intolerance and the nascent fascism and nazism in response to the attacks of Golden Dawn against immigrant children in nurseries and kindergartens in various Municipalities across the country”, as DIMAR’s MP characteristically states.
“There have been unprecedented incidents that have to do with the preregistration of immigrant children at nurseries and kindergartens in various municipalities. The most recent incident is the one in Thessaloniki, where Golden Dawners encircled a mother telling her that they are ‘conveying complaints’ from other parents and kindergarten teachers because her child has a different religion and does not let the teachers talk about Jesus”, the academics’ report mentions.
“Similar incidents occurring across the country often do not become exposed to the public, since the threatened parents, out of fear for something worse happening, prefer to keep their children at home rather than ask for help and protection from the state. Regarding the recent event in Thessaloniki where the mother did not stay silent but, instead, made sure it became public, Ministry of the Interior officials stated: ‘It goes without saying that the child’s information should not be given to anyone. The specific case will be investigated in order to attribute liability where it should apply’, while local officials said they have no responsibility, apparently ignoring the responsibility that applies to them for tolerating violence, not developing policies that can fight it and that can protect the parents, the teachers and the pupils”, they say.
“The point is that we should not take anything as self-evident any more, let alone the silence of the municipality staff of all levels, who have access to the children’s files and who naively (what a lenient term to use!) make comments left and right about the origins, the nationality, the religion, the language, … of little children. Yet the Golden Dawners obtain information from somewhere. Somebody provides it to them”, they add.
“We find it particularly worrying that the pertinent institutions and officials downplay these incidents”, the report underlines.
“We are very concerned about Golden Dawn’s success in infiltrating the field of education, intimidating, threatening, terrorizing parents, children and teachers. The victims often feel that they have no support, since the State does not defend even the basic operating principles of the rule of law. As a result, they end up succumbing on their threats staying silent instead of reacting against these actions that harm and insult our democracy.”
“It goes without saying that we strongly condemn such practices and we believe that it is necessary to have immediate implementation of educational activities that can bring about empowerment of all teachers that deal with children against intolerance and the nascent fascism and nazism. In such a project it is imperative to have cooperation between all the institutions involved (the pertinent Ministries – Education, Culture and Sport, Interior and Administrative Reform, Health and Welfare -, local authorities, universities, teachers’ unions, parents’ associations, etc.). We consider particularly important the cooperation of all the organizations mentioned above given the many different disciplines of those who work in the sensitive field of early childhood education that may not be under the Ministry of Education (baby nurses, infant teachers, civil servants, etc.)”, they stress.
“As Academics from the Network for Practical Exercise of the Pedagogical Departments of Preschool Education, we believe we have a duty to inform all democrats. We invite everyone to sign this text, expressing with their signature their support and alertness against this overt racism and the associated nazi practices that threaten the democratic character of the Greek school.”
“We propose a program with the purpose of sensitizing teachers of all levels on how to deal with such actions that may be have to do either with the heterogeneity that characterizes our schools today, with the interpersonal conflicts and oppositions or the cultural and social diversity in schools and to suggest ways of confronting intruders and defending all children and of excluding such interventions decisively and systematically,” the text concludes.
[Translated from ‘To Vima’ newspaper, 20/06/2013. Available online at: http://www.tovima.gr/society/article/?aid=518650]