The Spanish government has filed an injunction to prevent parents from allowing them to withdraw their children from participating in activities that “goes against their moral principles.”
Opposition parties claim that the current policies grant the government power that has been traditionally been held by parents, while the government claims the so-called “parental veto” actually fosters discrimination.
Last Friday, Spain’s Council of Ministers agreed to file for an injunction against the Regional Government of Murcia to re-establish legality and withdraw the ‘parental veto’ at education centers whereby the parents of pupils must express explicit consent for their children to attend any type of scheduled activity at the centre.
The Minister for the Treasury and Government Spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, explained that the government will appeal through administrative or legal channels against any attempt to violate the rights of children to receive comprehensive education and to uphold respect for fundamental freedoms.
“We will be firm in the defence of all citizens, particularly children. And when addressing any actions that we consider are violating their rights, prevailing legislation or international conventions, we will respond decisively,” she said.
Along the same line, the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Isabel Celaá, pointed out that the imposition of the ‘parental veto’ does not refer to voluntary activities, but to those that form part of the basic curriculum, which are compulsory in the education system and form part of the fundamental right of the individual to receive education, and hence the decision adopted by the Regional Government of Murcia is unacceptable.
The minister argued that the measure violates the fundamental right to education, goes against constitutional values as reflected in constitutional laws and against the ability, attributed by law, of education centres to determine their own school curriculum.
Isabel Celaá announced on Friday that the government will lodge a judicial appeal against any initiative that undermines the right to education and censors the actions of education centres and their teachers.
Education in egalitarian values
The Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, announced that she will appear, of her own volition, before the Monitoring Committee of the State Pact to Combat Gender-based Violence in the Lower House of Parliament, since the ‘parental veto’ is a “flagrant violation” of the pact.
This pact, she recalled, “literally speaks about strengthening and extending affective-sexual education, and we consider that the ‘parental veto’ is a clear example of censorship in education and, above all, of male dominance”.
The minister argued that the children of homophobic or male chauvinist parents have the same rights as other children to be educated regarding the respect and promotion of human rights, regarding feminism, equality and those values that allow us to live a dignified life.
Irene Montero stressed that for the government, education in egalitarian values and affective-sexual education are pillars of the democracy and the best way to guarantee citizen security.