Germany: Mayor wants refugee containers on school premises against parents’ wishes
The city wants to place housing containers on the site of a school centre, in order to accommodate 80 refugees in the future. Many parents see this as endangering the safety of their children.
Due to the increasing number of refugees, the city of Monheim plans to accommodate 80 refugees in an existing container facility on the site of a school, starting from next spring.
However, many parents are outraged by this and have also expressed their displeasure in the Council meeting’s population. Mayor Daniel Zimmermann, however, decided to keep on with his plans.
Zimmermann cites, among other things, the low conversion costs of the container system, of 150,000 euros, with the possibility of using also additional classrooms. The refugees are “people like you and me” and are neither dangerous nor endangered, said Zimmermann, who rejected the parents’ demand for security.
Since the increased admission in 2015, there have been no problems with refugees in the city, said a spokesman for the city administration. More than 80 percent of the currently 830 refugees are accommodated in rented apartments, “but we are simply not going to be able to keep paying the rental”, the speaker continued.
In addition, no other urban areas are currently free to use for refugee accommodation. The rental of a property or the implementation of the containers are significantly more expensive than the container solution.
Parents are concerned about safety
Many of the approximately 80 parents present, whose children attend the school there, expressed concerns at the council meeting, even about rape or abuse, fearing conflicts with traumatized refugees and thus stress for their children. Zimmerman called these fears “unfounded”.
According to the city, the mayor wants to seek a conversation with the outraged parents again in the next few weeks, for example at parents’ meetings. According to Zimmermann, this will not change the city’s decision to accommodate refugees in the containers on the school premises.