The Bagara Family Association in northern Spain said this week, “70% of Basque public schools refuse to offer religion classes,” thus pressuring parents not to sign their kids up for the subject.
The association’s president, Ramiro Pascual, explained that the teachers first take a vote and if the majority of teachers decide to eliminate religion class, the school removes it from the curriculum. Then parents are discouraged from signing their children up for the class by telling them that their child “will be the only one in the entire school” taking the course.
“This is a serious situation that has been developing for two years,” Pascual told COPE radio. He said school inspectors should be surprised that “at a school of over 700 students, only one is signed up for the class,” whereas in the rest of Spain, 70% of students are enrolled in the course.
Pascual said he had a list of more than 100 Basque public schools that do not offer religion class and that his organization has lodged a complaint with the government, outlining “irregularities and pressures on families” that are taking place in schools and “infringe upon the right of parents to religious education for the children.”