Serapio Lopez School Parents Protest “Neglect and Abandonment” of Children

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Worried by a list of cases of negligence and lack of care on the part of the personnel of the Serapio Lopez School in Nosara, fathers and mothers closed the school’s doors with locks on Monday, November 2 at 6 a.m.

The protest was maintained until Wednesday, November 4, with the goals of demanding better attention for their children and a personnel changefrom government authorities.

The school has been directed by Nicoyan educator Otis Rosales Guevara since August 13 of 2013.

LetyPrendas, a mother of one family involved who previously served as the president of the Board of School Education (Junta de Educacion Escolar), believes that the issues are happening because the personnel leave children neglected and abandoned during class hours.

“The children show minimal academic performance. Under [their] care during class times, accidents are happening, children are closed in bathrooms, [they are] abandoned during recess, kids are hit, dogs that have bitten [children] are in the yard and students have to pay to not be hit. During school hours the children are practically uncared for,” said Prendas.

Thelma Miranda, who has two daughters at the school, says that in the last two years there has been a series of accidents, cases of bullying and negligence on the part of the institution’s personnel, a situation that has become worse in the last year.

In June of this year, Miranda’s oldest daughter, an 11 year-old, was bitten by one of the dogs that belongs to owners who live next to the school.

“A family that lives next to the school has seven or eight big, mean dogs. One time I went to a meeting at the school and the dogs came andbit my daughter on her buttock and foot; she fell and got scraped,” explained Miranda.

On Tuesday, November 3, the parents and Rosa Maria Jimenez Lopez, director of the regional Ministry of Education office in Nicoya, came to an agreement and the parents opened the doors based on the agreement that the process to bring a new director for the 2016 school year would begin.

According to Prendas, if the authorities do not move forward with removing the director, on the first day of school next year, they will protest again and the Board of Education will request his immediate resignation.

“Hopefully they give us a permanent solution because education is important; our children can’t be in a school at the mercy of whatever circumstance. Things happen at school and they don’t tell the parents,” said Prendas.