ATHENS – Parents and guardians in Greece opposed to COVID-19 vaccines, masks and health measures who don’t send their children to school for at least the obligatory first nine grades are looking at a possible two years in jail and a fine.
Getting tough on parents who won’t obey the law requiring children attend school, the New Democracy government’s Ministers of Justice and Education sent Parliament an amendment to a 1985 law adding sanctions, said Kathimerini.
The government is trying to slow the surging pandemic and keep schools open although a number of them have found students being infected and skeptical parents not letting their children attend classes.
The government earlier said that students who miss too many classes because of their parent’s resistance against health measures could find themselves held back a year and have to repeat the grade.
A reported 35 of them in the central city of Larissa face those consequences because of their anti-vaxxer parents who won’t provide school authorities with required negative tests either, the paper said in November.
That has led to the students being barred from going into the schools and officials warning it means they could be held back, school administrators said to have contacted parents to inform them it would happen if the students go past a permissible number of absences.
After some teachers in Greece’s schools were detained by police after being sued by anti-mask parents violating the country’s COVID-19 mandates, the practice was to be stopped.
The Citizen’s Protection Ministry, which has oversight of the police, said the teachers will be protected, not prosecuted for following the law which requires students to wear masks and stay safe social distances from each other in schools.
Students who aren’t vaccinated or who have proof of recovery from the Coronavirus are also supposed to show two negative tests weekly but rabid anti-vaxxers are suing teachers and even assaulting school staff following the law.
Teachers and other staff in schools who aren’t vaccinated are required to pay for two molecular tests weekly at 10 euros ($11.73) but the New Democracy government hasn’t yet moved to make shots mandatory for them.
There’s been a barrage of suits against educators by Greece’s rabid anti-vaxxers which have put teachers in the dilemma of facing suits for following the law or for violating it if they allow in students without masks.
There’s been no reports of widespread enforcement of the anti-mask law as the government has moved away from crackdowns, concentrating on an economic recovery as the pandemic was spreading.
Adding to the worry about the reluctance to force vaccinations is whether schools would have to be closed, or classrooms shut down if the Coronavirus can’t be contained within schools.
A 37-year old anti-vaxxer father in a Thessaloniki suburb attacked his son’s female school principal earlier when she asked for the youth to show a self test proving he was negative for the virus.