Twenty-one families in Manacor are refusing to allow their children to start the new school year at the Sa Torre primary school because of the high number of immigrant children in the infants’ centre. These families failed to place their children in any of the three schools that they could have when registering in May and so have been assigned this particular school. The parents insist that there is no racism on their behalf, just that they do not agree with their children going to a school which is “full of immigrants”. All they want, they say, is that the school should be like others.
They claim that there has been a lack of information regarding their children being assigned to this school and criticise the fact that the town hall has given them no solution. They point to a meeting held with the councillor for education, Sebastià Llodrà, and accuse him of showing “not the slightest sensitivity” and saying that it was a matter for the regional ministry of education. The parents intend demanding a further meeting, this time with the mayor, Miquel Oliver, even though powers with regard to this matter lie with the government.
For some ten years, two schools - Sa Torre and Simó Ballester - have had around 90% immigrant children. In order to avoid such concentration and “ghettoisation” as well as to promote greater integration, the educational community in Manacor has developed a plan with the education ministry. Among other measures, it has been agreed to have an equitable distribution of immigrant children in all of the municipalities’ schools. This plan should apply to three-year-olds who will begin their schooling at infant level in September and has been guided by experience in Sa Pobla aimed at improving social cohesion and preventing a form of segregation in schools as well as a stigmatisation of certain schools, such as Sa Torre.