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Gerardo Castillo Ceballos, Professor of the School of Education and Psychology of the University of Navarra

The increasing encroachment of parents' right to Education of their children

Wed, 05 Dec 2018 10:29:00 +0000 Published in El Confidencial Digital

The preferential right of parents to the Education of their children does not depend on whether or not it is recognized in a positive rule , nor is it a concession of the public authorities. It is a primary right of the individual. However, it is included, as is well known, in the Declaration of Human Rights. Parents are the first and foremost educators of their children.

In democracies this parental right is usually recognized, but never in totalitarianisms. For example, where communist socialism reigns, it is the State, and not the parents, who control the children (without educating them); from birth they have to be delivered to public institutions, where they will be indoctrinated with the dominant party ideology.

What should be the educational function of the State? Since it does not have the right to educate, it is only responsible for helping private initiative in a subsidiary manner. Only in the case that the family does not fulfill its educational task, can the State intervene to make up for what the parents do not do.

What is the basis for the preferential right of parents to educate their children?

In the first place, it is in the family that the greatest proximity between the educator and the educatee is found. Parents, because they are closer to the child who has the right to be educated, are responsible and have the right and duty to educate. In the family there is not only the physical proximity of living under the same roof, but also biological and spiritual proximity. The latter arises from attention staff in the intimate environment that is the family.

Secondly, the right of parents is based on the fact that Education is the natural complement to the generation of offspring. Those who generate life are the best suited to sustain and care for it, both materially and spiritually. That is the Education.

The holders of the right to educate their children cannot and should not abdicate that responsibility, because that would be to leave the door open to the State's invasion of their educational work, thus usurping the right of the parents.

The writer Juan Manuel De Prada explains it this way: "That process would not have been possible if previously the family had not become a resigned institution, extremely weak, incapable of assuming the obligations it traditionally accepted as its own. As long as the family does not become fully aware of its responsibilities, it will not be able to recover the "right to Education" that has been usurped from it. The spaces that political power colonizes are often those that the human community abandons, through abandonment or negligence".

A current example is the inclusion in the school curriculum of a new and compulsory subject on sexual Education (?), called SKOLAE. With the alibi of the supposed "equality" between the sexes, parents are replaced by sexologists, who limit themselves to group indoctrinating children in "gender ideology" from early childhood and to offer them, no less, a possible reorientation of the same.

The Education related to the origin of life corresponds to the co-authors of that life, the parents, in the context of the Education for love, the family. The defense of the right of parents to the Education of their children, against the overreach of the public authorities is the core of the freedom of teaching or freedom of Education. It is the same natural right of parents seen from the perspective of relations with the State.

 The freedom of teaching is impossible when the school ceases to act as a delegate of the parents and becomes an ideological agent of state power.

Is there freedom of teaching in Spain?

The Spanish Constitution of 1978 recognizes, in its article 27, two fundamental rights in subject education: the right to the Education and the freedom of teaching. But this freedom of right is not fulfilled in fact in some cases, for partisan ideological reasons.

  There is a restrictive rules and regulations with respect to the statement of core values of non-state schools and, therefore, in the exercise of the freedom of teaching. On the other hand, a biased social discussion has been promoted, based on unfounded clichés and prejudices, labeling the differentiated and charter school as elitist and discriminatory, while the public school is presented as model exclusive. If there is only one model there is no choice, so it cannot be argued that in Spain there is freedom of teaching and Education.

Parents and teachers currently have the challenge to depoliticize the school, if only for the sake of the students.