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Thursday, 03. December 2020

Don’t sign appalling Pupil’s contract

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On 02. September, 20 hours before the school start, Secondary administration informed parents and pupils that they have to sign so-called pupil’s contract immediately and bring this document to the school. It shows again a mistrust in our school community which is so deep that Leene Soekov believes threats are the best way to ensure compliance.

That is why my wife and I sent complain. 

Complain to Leene Soekov regarding Pupil’s contract

To expect children as young as 10 years old to sign a contract (even if together with their parents), as you say in “sharing the responsibility” on the pandemic measures is, to put it in a politer tone, inappropriate if not illegal. It is us – adults who set examples, and our duty to protect and educate the children on those security measures. Not to mention some children did not understand all that is expected of them since they will start their secondary year for the first time tomorrow.

We do not agree with the procedure of implementation of the newly founded safely and security rules. These special and extreme circumstances affect families too, not only the school.

School doesn’t promote washing hands

As parents we have for years asked teachers in our school to encourage the children to wash their hands, use indoor shoes, etc. and in general improve hygiene (not always with success). We can tell you that during the last 2 years children in our son’s class were not told to wash their hands, not even before lunch. The teacher ignored my email sent in February 2020 (with the same request) – at the start of the pandemic(!).

I myself have asked other directors in the past (during educational counsel’s or Health and Safety meetings) to have an annual “clean hands” campaign, only to be told it was ridiculous or unnecessarily. At one of the Health and safety meetings I have presented a pamphlet and asked the school to get in contact with the Luxembourgish authorities on the “Clean hands – Healthy hands” campaign. This was not so long ago. And all this was before the Covid 19 crisis.

Aggressive writing doesn’t help

So please rest assured our children will follow each and every rule on the Pupil’s contract list. What we do not appreciate is how the measures were presented and how parents and pupils were informed, too late and in our view in a legally questionable and aggressive manner.

In many member states, the school has already started, they follow the same set of rules, of which some are common sense to most of us (and many are legally binding by the Ministry’s of Health decree), and we have not heard of any kind of documents needed to be signed by parents and especially not by pupils about “sharing the responsibility”. We are fairly certain they also have prepared sanctions in case of noncompliance but have not greeted the pupils with those at the start of the school year.

School doesn’t trust parents

Surely it would have been enough to send safety instructions to the parents since the vast majority was anticipating their publication for some time? Or is your mistrust in our school community so deep you believe threats are the best way to ensure compliance? There will always be parents who will ignore safety rules but you shouldn’t treat us all as bad apples…

As you protect the interests of your staff we also are obliged to protect the interests of our children even if it means starting the school year with an argument like this.

We wish you a healthy and successful start of the year.

This is a document school sent out.

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Aim of the European Schools

Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together. Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.

Marcel Decombis, Head of European School, Luxembourg between 1953 and 1960