The Buenos Aires City government has filed criminal charges against 366 parents of students who were involved in occupying schools in the capital back in September, with the authorities seeking to recuperate more than 50 million pesos in costs allegedly incurred by the enforced shutdowns.
The lawsuits have been filed against "adults responsible for the students who participated" in the takeovers of secondary schools through 25 criminal complaints "for an amount of $50,538,442.85," City HAll confirmed in a statement.
It says the total corresponds to the daily payment of salaries of staff at the schools that were occupied as part of sit-ins organised by protesting students last month. More than 15 institutions were occupied and closed for some days as part of action organised by demonstrators to demand improvements in school infrastructure, the quality and quantity of school meals and the scrapping of a controversial compulsory internship scheme.
City Hall said it would not allow any disruption to school timetables and that they would take legal action against the parents of those involved in the sit-ins.
"Our obligation as adults is to teach children to dialogue and participate, but always understanding that there are other rights that must be respected and that all these differences must be able to coexist in the same society," said City Education Minister Soledad Acuña.
"The Buenos Aires City Education Ministry sent a technical report to the Attorney General's Office of Buenos Aires City that quantifies the value corresponding to the daily payment of salaries of the staff of the occupied schools, in order to transfer to the adults responsible for the labour costs of having the schools closed," read a statement.