Parents of the Spanish institute Giner de los Rios in Lisbon, Portugal have expressed their surprise at the decision by Spain’s Socialist government to require that that the course Education for Citizenship be taught in Spanish schools that operate in other countries. The parents reacted by announcing that, like 45,000 other parents in Spain, they would also appeal to conscientious objection.
Maria Fernanda Gonzalez, one of the parents voicing objection to the course, reacted to the news, saying, “the State wants to educate my children and other children and young people in moral values.” “In Spain there have already been more than 45,000 objections. Shouldn’t making these courses optional or removing the moral content from them be considered?” she asked.
One group of parents from the Lisbon school has sent a letter to the Spanish embassy there expressing their objection. They state in the letter that their right to object to the course is protected by the “fundamental right to ideological freedom,” which is recognized in the Spanish constitution.
However, the embassy denied the request and said “the course is obligatory, like math or language arts.” Parents “voluntarily put their children in this school” and if they do not agree with its policies they can transfer them to another, embassy officials said.
The Bishops’ Conference of Spain has decried the Education for Citizenship course for elements of the curriculum that are “contrary to Catholic teaching and to authentic humanism, such as moral relativism and gender ideology.”