The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

Paris attack will affect refugees

November 23, 2015

When German teacher Shari Fox heard about the terrorist attack in Paris, she first thought of all the Syrian refugees living in France.

“When I heard about the Paris attacks I was really sad because I thought of the refugees,” Fox said. “I thought ‘oh no.’ (France) took in 600,000 people and they’re doing all this work to help the refugees and these attacks turn the people against the refugees.”

Fox said additional information she heard increased her concern for the refugees seeking asylum in Europe.  

“It made me sad because there is talk that one of the key players in the attacks slipped in with the refugees. So right away everyone is thinking ‘oh my god we’re letting in all these people in here that are potential terrorists’ and that’s just really sad because who is going to pay the price — the refugees,” Fox said.  “(The refugees) were desperate to get out of (Syria) and now I’m sure they’re living in the fear of being sent back.”

Fox said she believes it’s important to think about the effect this attack with have on other European countries and the people living there.

“Up till now you’ve only heard about Paris and France’s reaction, but Germany is right next door and the impact is going to be huge,” Fox said.

Fox said she has been staying up-to-date with the refugee crisis, especially because Germany is a key player in the debate.

“I’ve been following the refugee crisis in Europe very closely because Germany is basically the only country who will take anyone,” Fox said. They have already taken in almost 800,000 people, whereas most other countries are locked down, sending people away.”

However, Fox said she doesn’t believe it should be up to a single country to take in all the refugees.

“It can’t be up to one country, the size of Montana, with 83 million people to take in all the refugees around the world. It’s Europe — other people need to help too,” Fox said.

In light of the recent events, Fox said she will incorporate the refugee crisis in Germany into the curriculum for her senior class. Because of the vastness of German news outlets, she said there are plenty of resources for her to use.

“We have talked about it in our senior class. I am planning on working it into our curriculum because it is very current,” Fox said. “I’ve been getting magazines now where that is the topic — the refugee crisis. There is so much stuff out there and it’s driven towards a German audience, but it’s simple enough to understand it.”

Although Fox said she worries about how the Paris attacks will affect the lives of refugees in Europe and how it will alter people’s opinions, she is confident there are people who support the refugees.

“There are going to be xenophobes everywhere you go. No matter what country you live in, there will be people saying, ‘this is our country we earned our money, we paid our taxes, we shouldn’t have to pay for other people too,’” Fox said. “But they’ve been working to balance that out and there are a lot of people who are getting out and volunteering and helping these refugees.”

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