A letter has been sent out to the Commissioner for Children’s rights, Leda Koursoumba by a group of parents and teachers who are complaining about the process in which school celebrations and events are organised and as a result, the negative impact this process has on children. The letter refers to two recent incidents which took place at a Lyceum in Limassol and a primary school in Nicosia, with its authors stressing that the issue of regulating the framework within which school celebrations and events are conducted is urgently needed in order to safeguard the rights and the best interests of children.
In particular, the letter refers to the lengthy process of the preparation of celebrations and events in schools which demand extensive rehearsals and compulsive reading of texts and poems, resulting in unnecessary stress and pressure being passed on to children who often experience the whole process as torture seen as they are forced to present themselves before the entire school and hundreds of strangers.
Additionally, the complaining parents report that in some cases, children who aren’t as shy and more confident than others take on more roles, with the result of other children feeling disadvantaged and revert more into themselves.
“What appears on stage as a beautiful celebration that spectators enjoy is usually the result of a pressure that is equivalent to child abuse in fine costumes,” writes the letter in question referring to the fact that for children with special characteristics such as introversion, shyness, ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome or for children who don’t have a loud or melodious voice, these celebrations are a source of anxiety and agony that worsens their symptoms and marginalises them.
The letter also refers specifically to two recent incidents that took place in a Lyceum in Limassol (a military parade of students in the courtyard of the school) and a primary school in Nicosia (a disabled child was not allowed to recite a poem), in which it is stressed that these two incidents have now highlighted the issue of regulating the framework within which school celebrations are held in order to safeguard the rights and best interests of children.