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Greek Anti-Vaxxer Assaults, Sues School Principal

Antivaxxers march in Athens recently. Credit: Greek Reporter

A 37-year old anti-vaxxer father in a Thessaloniki suburb assaulted his son’s female school principal on Tuesday for asking for the unvaccinated child’s self test results before allowing him to enter school premises.

Ioannis Sarigiannidis, who is a Covid denier, reportedly pushed the principal hard and prevented the other kids from entering the schoolyard after she asked for the child’s rapid test results, as Greek law requires.

The principal immediately called the police, who arrested Sarigiannis. The prosecutor charged him with disruption of a public service and insulting, and he was then allowed to return home.

But that wasn’t the end of the story. On Wednesday, Sarigiannidis refused to bring his son to school claiming that his son was in shock, “just like all of his school mates.”

Die-hard anti-vaxxer sues — and is sued

He added that his son will take three days off until Friday, the day his case comes before the court. The man claims he will be appearing without a lawyer, saying that the contract he has with the school is binding and mentions nothing about either the “illegal mandates concerning the Covid self tests, or the masks.”

Sarigiannidis went a step further, saying that he will be suing the school principal in the amount of 2.7 million Euros, based on the existing contract between the school and the pupils’ parents, which doesn’t include mandatory vaccinations. He added that these charges will be pressed “as is fitting for the illegal and outright criminal actions undertaken by teachers and the Health Ministry.”

Concerning Tuesday’s episode, the anti-vaxxer father claimed that he pushed the principal aside in order to get his son inside the school “because she was in my way. It’s not her school, she works for us and is obligated to teach our kids and tone up their psychology in this difficult world we live in.”

Anti-vaxxer claims vaccines are of “questionable origin”

Regarding vaccines, Sarigiannidis claimed that they are of questionable origin and no one accepts responsibility for their effects. He added that he will continue escorting his son to school every day, and will even place him in his classroom by force. According to reports, the boy went to school all last week carrying the obligatory Covid self test and a mask, escorted by his mother.

The anti-vaxxer father said that his son complained to him about the use of his mask and he stood by his son. The man referred to the pandemic as “alleged,” adding that he was not convinced that his son was in danger from being infected. The teacher’s union representative said that the child had never complained about either the self test or mask use in the previous days.

She added that the boy was embarrassed by the episode caused by his father.

The anti-vaccination cohort is relatively numerous in Greece, where polls show that almost one in four Greeks refuse the vaccination, are scared, or simply don’t believe the pandemic is real. In the first weeks of September, several demonstrations against the vaccination have been organized in major Greek cities, with thousands of people shouting “fake news” slogans and sporadically even clashing with police forces.

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