‘I felt better when I spoke up’

Alexandros Patel, 17, was born in Greece. His mother is from the Philippines and his father from India. He is in the third year of senior high school. «When I first came to this school, the other pupils use to make fun of me. I felt really bad and insecure. I had no friends,» he told Kathimerini, recalling his early days at the school. «Finally I decided to talk to a teacher. I felt I could trust her.» She told him not to pay attention to what other people said, to trust his own abilities, and that the more he cared about the opinion of others the more power he gave them. A different light That conversation was enough for him to start seeing his fellow pupils in a different light. «It’s much better now,» said Alexandros. «Few teachers show understanding,» said Yiannis Fourlanos, a schoolmate of Alexandros. «And very few children go to teachers to talk about their problems.» «There is no such relationship at school. I think many kids hide their problems, unfortunately, because they could get some help. «Attitudes must change and the school has to acquire a more human face,» he concluded.