Spain’s new coalition government has filed a lawsuit against the regional government of Murcia over its failure to meet a 30-day deadline set by the national Ministry of Education to withdraw a controversial program that lets parents veto their children’s attendance in classroom sessions where sexual diversity, gender violence and other issues are discussed.
Education Minister Isabel Celaá confirmed Tuesday that the Murcian regional government’s refusal to withdraw the so-called “parental veto” program before expiration of the deadline on Monday had led the government to file suit against the regional government in the Superior Court of Justice of Murcia.
In the lawsuit, the Ministry of Education claims that the regional government has usurped jurisdiction belonging solely to the national government over what can and cannot be taught in classrooms across Spain, making the parental veto program illegal under Spanish law governing education. The Ministry has asked the court to immediately suspend the parental veto program as a precautionary measure while it considers the government’s argument.
The “parental veto” is part of a national campaign rolled out across Spain in recent months by right-wing groups, including the ultra-Catholic Hazte Oír organization and Spain’s new ultra-right political party, VOX.
Claiming that Spanish schoolchildren are being indoctrinated in classrooms by feminists and LGBT activists, the groups want parents to be able to invoke moral, ideological or religious convictions in order to stop their children from participating in discussions in the classroom on sexual diversity, gender identity and gender violence.
In Murcia, VOX made its support for the regional budget proposed by the governing conservative Partido Popular (PP) contingent upon the PP’s implementation of a parental veto program in the region. The PP acquiesced to the VOX demands and the program was implemented in Murcia at the beginning of the current school year.
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