The Greek school year kicked off on Monday with the Greek government facing the task of having to integrate more than 15,000 refugee and migrant children into the national education system. While this in itself is no easy task, parents associations are balking at the prospect of having refugee children attend schools with refugees. One group of parents at a school at the northern Greek town of Oraiokastro took their objections one step further by threatening to occupy the elementary school building in protest if refugees from nearby camps were allowed to attend though it was not clear how many migrant children were planned to start classes.
Greek Education Minister Nikos Filis criticized the parents association. “There is no justification for this,” he said, speaking to private Real FM radio station. “There is prejudice. Fortunately, this is the reaction of a very small minority of parents.”
Among the reasoning that parents gave for their concerns were issues such as health concerns. Filis said that an immunization program is part of the government’s school integration scheme.
On its part, the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn party praised the parents for their resistance towards the “Islamization” of Greece.