Larissa school divided over classes for refugee children


The prospect of refugee children attending classes at a primary school in Larissa, central Greece, as part of a nationwide government initiative, has divided teachers and parents.

In the wake of objections by schoolchildren’s parents, the principal of the 26th Larissa Primary School, Katerina Stagianni, said she and teachers at the school remained committed to “offering adequate education to Greek and refugee children who we will soon be welcoming with an open heart, arms and mind.”

Her comments came after the head of the association representing the parents of children at the school, Stefanos Hahamis, allegedly called on pupils to watch a video posted on his Facebook page which is said to contain racist material.

In a letter to Larissa’s Eleftheria newspaper, Hahamis said accusations of racism and facism “do not touch us” and that parents remain opposed to the presence of refugees at their children’s school.

The development follows protests against classes for refugees at other schools including one in Perama led by an MP of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.