Should parents be given veto on school lessons?
In Spain, the right-wing populist Vox party has demanded that parents be allowed to exempt their children from certain lessons, for example sex education or lessons on equal rights. The conservative People's Party PP has said it intends to support this parental veto initiative in the Murcia region, where the conservative-liberal minority government is dependent on the votes of Vox. The Spanish press finds the initiative unacceptable.
Constitution isn't a menu to pick and choose from
Parents are already represented on the committees in which teaching content is decided, eldiario.es points out:
“The parents' veto is aimed at preventing children from learning about issues relating to citizenship, diversity and equality, despite the fact that it's the schoolboards, on which the parents also sit, that decided that children should listen to presentations about macho violence, homophobia, sex education or bullying in class. What Vox wants and what Casado supports, even though it violates the education law passed by his own party, is that parents of school children should be given the right to select the content of lessons financed by all Spaniards as if from a menu - and to discuss some constitutional issues in class, but not others.”
Collective rights take precedence
La Vanguardia is shocked that the conservative People's Party (PP) is backing the demands of right-wing populist Vox:
“Vox's position on equal rights, gender issues and violence against women is well known. ... So it's hardly surprising that they are trying to impose this educational veto [for parents]. More surprising is that [PP leader Pablo] Casado is clearly backing it even though it is neither on his election programme nor supported by his entire party, which is already voicing its opposition to this measure and warning against getting carried away by Vox. ... A parents' veto such as the one Vox is demanding, which is based on a discriminatory ideology, is unacceptable. Because it subordinates collective rights to individual beliefs. Because it denies schoolchildren a comprehensive view of reality.”