Vielsalm Athénée rallies to support 2 students facing expulsion
Monday, 04 May 2015
Vielsalm Royal Secondary School (Athénée Royale de Vielsalm) is rallying in support of Prince and Bryan, two Rwandan students threatened with expulsion. Both staff and students ‘downed tools’ for 30 minutes on Monday morning. Since Thursday, teachers and students have been asking people to sign a petition they intend to send to Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, to highlight to him Prince and Bryan’s current situation and encourage him to reconsider the case of the two brothers, aged 18 and 16. The brothers arrived in Belgium with their family in 2009. Staff and management at the school have described them as good students and well-settled in. they both have “ambitious plans” for the future, one particular teacher added.
Last week, they were given a deadline of May 9th to leave the country. “For the time being, the general feeling around the school is one of anger, indignation and revolt”, said head-teacher, Marie-France Huveners. which has also posted on the internet, The petition, has already been signed by several hundred people, explained a teacher from the school the boys have been attending for 2 years now.
Staff at the school have also undertaken various other types of action: placards, posters and group photographs. On Monday, the school stopped work from 10:00am to 10:30am as a sign of support for the 2 brothers. Teachers have also contacted the press in order to spread word of their protest and encourage it to snowball. Prince and Bryan are currently staying with their father at Bovigny reception centre.