tens of thousands of people took part in protests against the education law approved by parliament in 50 Spanish cities. It allows for the sexual education of 6-year-olds and the necessity for them to acquire “knowledge about sexual diversity”.
/JuanJo MartĂn /PAP / EPA
The protests took place on Sunday, November 22, in the form of free passage of cars through the cities, and protesters decorated the vehicles in orange. Under this color, various educational and parental associations defend the right of guardians to decide on the curriculum for students at school. They claim that the education reform “imposes one teaching model on them” and “indoctrinates children”.
Sunday demonstrations took place, among others in Seville, Malaga, Barcelona, Vigo, Toledo, and also in Valencia. The largest one took place in the center of Madrid.
According to the police, 5,000 people took part in the demonstration in Warsaw. vehicles. Meanwhile, the organizers say that there were three times more cars participating in the free passage through Madrid.
On Thursday, the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, approved a new education law, the so-called Lomloe, also known as the “law of Celaa”, after the Spanish minister of education, Isabel Celaa.
The law was passed with a slight majority of votes from the deputies governing the country, socialists and their coalition partner, Unidas Podemos. The reform was also supported by separatist groups from Catalonia and the Basque Country, as well as by smaller left-wing parties.
One of the main criticisms of the new Education Act is limiting the influence of parents on their children’s school curriculum and increasing the education rights of autonomous community governments.
Critics of the reform claim that the new regulations pose a risk of demoralizing the youngest students, as the act obliges students to sexually educate at the age of 6. According to the new law, children in classes in this subject “must know and evaluate the human dimension of sexuality in all its diversity”.
Among the matters criticized in the new education law is the possibility of limiting the Castilian language, which is the basis of the modern Spanish language, by individual regions of the country, as well as cuts in the financing of public-private schools by the education department. These are mainly run by the Catholic Church.
The “Celaa Act” also provides for a reduction in the number of special schools and the inclusion of children with disabilities in the system of public institutions for healthy pupils. The health ministry says the changes are supposed to “counter educational segregation.”