A mother from the Spanish city of Jaen has shared her experience of being pressured by the local public school to make her son take the controversial course Education for the Citizenry, despite her objections to the class.
“They told me I couldn’t do that. The pressured me to put him in the class and they suspended him,” Pilar Colomina told Professionals for Ethics.
She recalled that at the beginning, in 2007, when her son did not show up for the class, they called her “for forty five minutes straight to go pick him up. I always refused and I warned them that if anything happened to him during school hours they would be held responsible.”
Professionals for Ethics reported that once the authorities deemed it useless to pressure the mother, they began to undermine the child’s resistance.
By 2008 the situation had slightly improved. Pilar’s son, together with five other students who have objected to the course, were allowed to sit a separate classroom while the other students attend Education for the Citizenry, but not before school officials tried to trick them into attending.
“At the beginning of the course they told him to go to the class and that this year they would be studying ethics and not Education for the Citizenry. My son, who can’t fathom that an adult would be deceitful, told me they had eliminated the course,” Pilar said.
At the beginning of the second semester this year, the Board of Education of Andalucia suspended several students whose parents objected to Education for the Citizenry. However, Pilar appealed to the Supreme Court of Andalucia, which last March upheld the right of parents to conscientiously object to the course.
School officials have said that in the wake of the ruling they would adapt the contents of the course, but Pilar is skeptical and does not expect the officials to keep their word.