Parents’ associations in Alexandreia, central Macedonia, on Tuesday reiterated their opposition to 60 refugee children from a nearby camp attending local schools, citing health concerns and the claim they have not been vaccinated.
“Our decision was made clearly on the basis of hygiene alone, as no authority can convince us that all [sanitation] rules for our children’s safety will be adhered to,” the presidents of the parents’ associations said in a joint letter to regional education officials and local MPs.
The associations insisted there were other available school facilities that could accommodate refugee children.
However, local education authorities dismissed their concerns as unfounded.
“We do not understand these reactions given that the hygiene issues have already been addressed and that all assurances have been provided that the refugee children who attend will have been vaccinated,” said Panayiotis Ananiadis, regional director of education in central Macedonia.
The mayor of Alexandreia, Panayiotis Gyrinis, echoed the same sentiment, saying that authorities are working hard to ensure all the children will be vaccinated and hygiene standards are being maintained.
The president of the local teachers’ association, Pavlos Toutouzidis, attributed the opposition to refugees attending school to a “lack of information.” “There is no problem, the [refugee] children must attend school lessons normally,” he told Kathimerini.