Almost four decades ago, Pavlos Sidiropoulos had sung “Kapote tha rthun”, with the lyrics of the hymn becoming a song on the lips of millions of people across Greece, over the years. “Take care of the child”, said the late singer in 1979 and these lyrics are more relevant than ever, today when stories of children experiencing bullying and abuse come to light every day.
< p>In a time when children grow up in a different way than their parents, or even better, their grandparents, we must keep our mind on the child, so that… there is hope. Unfortunately, some prove that not only do they not care about children, but they are completely indifferent to them. Whether they are called parents, or teachers, or whatever.
A few days ago, a young girl was passing through a primary school in the capital to go to a job located near the school. While walking on the sidewalk, he saw a child of eight or nine years old playing alone in the yard. He was digging holes around a tree, but he was all alone. No one else was around. Not a teacher, not another child. He immediately made the implication that it wasn't recess time, but he didn't pay much attention to the fact.
She passed the child, went to her work and sat there for about an hour. From where he was, he had visual contact with the school and where the student was, who continued to play around the tree. As she was leaving work, she decided to go talk to the boy, but some people who saw her tried to stop her, telling her that they might suspect her of trying to molest the student.
But she didn't change her mind and approached the school's railings. He asked him what his name was and the kid replied Daniel (the name is random for reporting purposes). Then the girl asked him why he was playing alone in the tree and the little boy told her that, “I don't want to go to class” and she wondered why, getting the answer that “I don't like school”.
The girl, clearly disturbed by his answers, tried to explain to him that he doesn't have to like school, that he can just go to his class with the other kids, but Daniel refused again. He found it more interesting to sit and play by himself, digging around the tree.
At that moment a stranger passed by telling the girl that the child had been sitting alone in that tree since morning. Hearing the neighbor's report made the girl angry at the treatment that Daniel seems to be receiving. As she turned back to him to speak to him, she saw a woman exiting the building, apparently a teacher.
Immediately, the girl asked her why the child is alone in the courtyard to receive the answer “I was looking for him, that's why I came”. The answer didn't convince her, but she didn't want to continue. After seeing Daniel return to his class, she continued on her way, but knowing that the teacher's answer was not sincere, since for an hour she saw the little boy sitting in the tree, while in her mind the mention of the stranger who she saw him sitting in that particular spot since the morning of that day.
The school that Daniel attends doesn't really matter, but the fact that a child was exposed for at least an hour in his schoolyard without anyone looking for him does matter. The thought that this child could have been approached by someone cunning or someone who would want to harm him, only causes horror, even though we do not know Daniel personally, nor his family. He is a child and he could be the son of any of us.
However, what this child experiences at school, so that he does not want to go to his class, causes horror, but also what it is that led him to the decision to stay in the yard, playing under the tree. The fact that his absence went unnoticed for over an hour should alarm the educators serving at the school in question to prevent similar incidents in the future, since the dangers involved are too many.
So if a stranger approached the child to grab him what would happen? Or if the child left school and disappeared, who would be responsible? So our thoughts on the child, to keep hope alive…