The shutdown of schools due to student sit-ins is a phenomenon that has been familiar since the end of the dictatorship in 1974.

Even in the midst of a pandemic that practice has carried on.

This time it is not over an unpopular government education bill or about the quality of food in school canteens.

The demands of the students reveal the confusion that has prevailed in the rest of society: Those who deny the utility of masks are standing under the same banner as those demanding greater protection at schools.

“Occupying schools is not the answer,” declared Education Minister Niki Kerameus.

This issue is how one addresses the demands. Both the government and its scientific advisory committee have discussed the issues of smaller classes and rolling work schedules.

The key is informing students and teachers properly and offering necessary explanations and commitments. Changes must be made where necessary.

One does not have the luxury of delaying.

Classes are being taught normally at private schools but at 700 state schools which have been occupied students have been held back.

What is certain is that we are not in a period of normalcy.

Consequently the government cannot resolve the issue with temporary patchwork.

The wave of sit-ins must not expand. Even in cases where students have reason to protest school shutdowns are not the answer to the problems in the education system created by the coronavirus.

The process of educating students cannot include bullying or vigilantism.

Knife-toting parents, brawls between students, and the incidents at Alimos can only end up as a boomerang.