Court injunction suspends Murcia’s parental veto plan

Teacher discusses parental veto issue with students in classroom. Photo: Monica Torres / El País
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A three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Justice of Murcia (TSJM) has ruled in a 2-1 vote to temporarily suspend the so-called “parental veto” over the attendance of schoolchildren in classes or extra-curricular talks that the parents find objectionable on ideological, moral or religious grounds.

The panel of judges issued their finding after an appeal was filed in February against the regional program by Spain’s national Ministry of Education.

The judges ruled to temporarily suspend the parental veto plan in Murcia until such time as they had reached a decision over whether or not the program violates Spain’s national education legislation or whether in giving parents a veto over which classes their children attend the Murcia regional government had usurped functions that legally fall under the jurisdiction of the national Education Ministry.

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In suspending the program, the judges made clear that they were not making any value judgment over the Education Ministry’s claim but said that allowing the parental veto to stay in place in Murcia in the meantime could be prejudicial to the schoolchildren.

At the start of the current school session, Murcia’s Ministry of Education and Culture of Murcia gave instructions to all pre-school, Primary, Secondary and Baccalaureate level schools that they must ask for authorization of families before students could participate in discussions about sexual diversity, gender equality, violence against women and other topics.

Opponents of the parental veto say the program is part of a push by right-wing groups and political parties to deny schoolchildren information about sexual diversity and gender equality that Spain’s national Education Ministry insists should be compulsory nationwide.

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