In a note sent by the association to Lusa News Agency, accusations made by various parents of students in a Year Four class at that school include allegations of verbal and physical abuse by employees, and discrimination of children of different ethnic groups.
According to the parents’ claims, the school “has a class in which it has placed all the Roma children, children with disabilities and black children, and children of ‘white race’ who are transferred from other schools”; a situation they deem as “completely absurd, as racial and cultural mixing enriches all”.
According to the parents, the situation became particularly poignant when they learned that “Gypsy children eat standing up, some of whom are strategically placed near the bins.”
“They are attacked (not just them, but it all started with them), physically and verbally, and employees inside the cafeteria use very strong swear words against them” the document reads.
The parents have also denounced a lack of food, and as an example, claim in one case a “fillet was divided in half”.
“[The situation] becomes even more serious as when the complaint was lodged and the principal or head of the school became made aware of it, [he or she] went to the classroom looking for my daughter because I had identified myself in the complaint, and threatened/intimidated all [the children], because they cannot tell their parents what is happening at school”, the document slammed.
The parents have lodged an official complaint against the school to the Algarve regional education board of Education of the Algarve, which has asked the Manuel Teixeira Gomes school group, to which the Major David Neto School belongs, for clarification.
Contacted by Lusa, the Portimão councillor for education confirmed she had received a complaint on 17 January, and had asked the school for clarification, adding she would comment on the matter at a later stage.