“Last Wednesday, November 9, 2022, a very serious thing happened at the Parentucelli-Arzelà Institute in Sarzana: the canine units of the local Carabinieri, assisted by those of Villanova di Albenga, in the context of an anti-drug operation agreed with the management of the ‘institute, they literally broke into the school and walked around with the dogs from class to class, with the intent of finding boys in possession of drugs. Contrary to what appeared in the press, the operation took place not only in front of the school, but also suddenly inside the school: a sort of round-up, carried out classroom by classroom with the unsuspecting teachers sniffed in turn by the dogs and especially forced to reassure the children, mostly minors, frightened by the situation. Classes and teachers lined up in the corridor to be reviewed and sniffed by the drug dog. On the other hand, the “guilty” children (how guilty can a 15-year-old be, given that, with good reason, he cannot be arrested or prosecuted under our criminal system?) Of possessing illegal substances, even of minimal quantities, are been put to the public pillory with effects on their reputation certainly devastating and not at all educational.
It should be added that in the institute, characterized by the presence of a plurality of addresses, from the classical high school to the professional institute, passing through scientific and technical, only the professional and technical classes were sifted, leaving those of the high schools calm, with an attitude which appears to have a clear class matrix. The offending and certainly illegal substances are unfortunately consumed in all strata of the youth population, so this discrimination is truly incomprehensible. Or did they only want to hit the families with greater social distress from which some of those children come?
And what need was there to break in, with the authorization of the Management and with the consent, according to what we learn from the media, of some parents, when it was possible to carry out the control as usual outside the school, where in fact Were some young people in possession of substances stopped this time too? Why did the management not feel the need to inform and consult the teachers, who found themselves completely unprepared to face the situation, even if they are those who are materially in continuous contact with the children (and their families) and do they know its characteristics and needs?
The school is the place of education, not of repression: the school is the place where these issues are faced in a constructive, pedagogical way, with projects, with comparisons. Where a “drug dealer” is first of all a person, a boy entrusted to competent adults who must in many ways intercept that discomfort and seek an educational solution. Humiliating children in this way in front of their classmates makes no sense and in some cases has led to very serious consequences in the past, such as the suicide of a young Lavagna student in 2017. It is not tolerable that the normal course of a school day, the provision of a public service, must be interrupted and suddenly disturbed by police operations, without there being a real emergency.
Many school leaders reject this kind of scenario and many teachers are absolutely against it. Families entrust their minor children to school and the school must protect them, not refer them to the police who, among other things, must not be seen as enemies but as allies in the management of these problems.
So a bad day for a public school, a day in which the school has abdicated its primary role in which children must be educated and accompanied in their growth path (path also made up of errors that must be faced and corrected); a bad day in which school has replaced education with repression, as in the worst teaching practices, as in the worst families, as in the worst societies that have made exemplary punishment a hallmark of the lack of
The Cobas invite the teachers of Parentucelli-Arzelà to speak publicly, to defend their role as educators, to claim for the school a free space for discussion and construction of critical conscience; they invite the students and their families to ask for an account of the choices made by the school management who signed a co-responsibility agreement which was disregarded ”.
For the Cobas School
Prof. Serena Tusini