Expat parents consider appeal in school battle
14 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — A group of expat parents have lost a court battle against the relocation of an international primary school in Hilversum. They are now considering an appeal, but some are said to be so upset they are thinking about leaving the country.
14 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — A group of expat parents have lost a court battle against the relocation of an international primary school in Hilversum. They are now considering an appeal, but some are said to be so upset they are thinking about leaving the country.
The parents took Hilversum Council and the Hilversum Primary Education Foundation to court on 10 March to prevent the relocation of the Violen School International Department. The court handed down its ruling the next day and rejected the parents' case.
The parents rejected the new location because of safety concerns and have accused the city council of breaking its promise to relocate the school to Hilversum North. The Hilversum Meent campus is being moved to a new location in Hilversum South.
Disgruntled parents claim their living and work choices were influenced by the council's initial promise to relocate the school to Hilversum North.
Parents have also raised concerns about a GSM mobile phone mast located next to the new school building. Concerns of parking and an alleged illegally small playground have also sparked parental anger.
But the court ruled against the parent's arguments on Friday. Lawyer Maarten de Vries said on Monday that parents are now considering an appeal. Parents are also holding discussions again with the council about the planned relocation.
Despite the ongoing negotiations, a spokesman for the parents said the expat families were dismayed by the court ruling and some are now questioning whether they want to remain in the Netherlands.
"The international parents as a group are shocked and disgusted by the outcome," he said.
The council has in the past dismissed concerns over the GSM mast, parking and the playground size. But a spokesman for the Hilversum Council's Education Department, Han van Dam, also said it was the right of the parents to appeal against the court ruling.
But he dismissed claims that the council did not present any supplementary evidence last week, asserting that both the court and the parents' lawyer were given a copy of a report by research bureau TNO. He said the report indicates that the GSM mast poses no risk to public health.
School furniture and material is now scheduled to be moved to the new school building in the Frans Halslaan in the south of Hilversum on 21 March. Pupils are expected to attend the new location from Tuesday 29 March.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news