Case Study No.9

Speech and Statements on Human Rights & Art

Greece

University of Piraeus

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Key words

Extremism, stereotypes, racism, bias, school

School involved

Higher Education

Detailed description of the situation

The happening took place in the 2nd High School in Drapetsona, Greece. This school was one of the first accepting to organise special classes for refugee’s students living in the hotspot of Schistos. 

Due to this, a number of racist actions took place in the schools in Drapetsona, by members of the fascist movement and party Golden Dawn, and a former MP of Golden Dawn, defendant for the murder of a musician, well known for his humanitarian action. In addition, some students’ parents disagreed with the intention of including refugee’s children in the school, because of their Muslim background.

Thanks to teachers’ efforts promoting human rights, 15 refugees’ children were included in the school environment and fully accepted by their peers, despite the continuous disturbances unsettling the school environment.

Have you ever experienced something similar? Which measures would you use to contribute to creating inclusive environments?

Share your ideas and suggestions on TEACHmi online Forum!

Here are few questions for self-reflection:

  • Have you ever used Arts as an instrument for social inclusion? How can you integrate it in your work?

  • Which other measures could you adopt in similar situations?

  • What competences and resources do you need?

  • How can you promote values of openness and interculturality in society? Can you think of any methods to include parents and the entire community?

Initial reaction

Supported by their teachers, the indigenous students realized that all this hate speech and the negative vibes against the refugee children would have a bad impact on them, with the risk to exclude them from the educational system. 

Suggested solution

With the help of the teachers, the students arranged meetings in the classroom, in order to plan a small Festival about Greek and Afghan friendship. The students had the intention to spread the message of the Greek – Afghan friendship to all school stakeholders. Thus, they invited staff from the Ministry of Education, the Municipality etc. 

The festival, called Forbidden Art, saw Tariq, Habiba and the indigenous students working together to create the necessary material. The goal was to discover together the difficulties and the rights and freedom infringement stories in both countries and share them. 

After strong cooperation and searching together, they found that these stories are still alive in the two countries’ music and poetry. They realized that the idea of Love and Peace were imprinted in Arts through the decades. Keep symbolizing the continuously fight of brave people can help promote these universal values.

Topic 4 and 6 focus on the management of diversity and potential misunderstandings and conflicts that may arise in intercultural contexts, and they can therefore offer useful tips.

Why is this case-study relevant?

Working hand in hand to create friendly environment in school and in society, this good practice had great positive impact on this school in Drapetsona. Hopefully, it can become a source of inspiration for similar initiatives in school in the future.