Parents have no right to withdraw children from sex education, says Spanish Government

Parents’ right to decide the education their children will receive is being attacked by the hardline secularist Government in Spain with a spokeswoman for the prime minister saying that children “do not belong to their parents”.

The conservative Vox party is demanding that parents be allowed to opt their children out of sex education class if they wish. The left-wing coalition Government in Spain is pushing back, arguing parents have no such right.

“We want to protect children from sexual content which is being given, for example, to children up to the age of six,” said Vox’s leader Santiago Abascal on Monday. “I have no doubt that they should not be taught any kind of erotic game as is happening in some places.”

Mr Abascal appeared to be referring to an educational scheme in the Navarre region, which encourages small children to explore their “sexual curiosity”.

Vox has made its support for a budget bill in the southern region of Murcia contingent on allowing parents to boycott classes they deem inappropriate for their children. The ruling parties of the regional Government have agreed to the measure.

However, although Spain’s 17 regional governments have some control over education matters, this parental authorisation policy is not allowed under national law. Spain’s new coalition government of Socialists and the far-left Podemos party has given the administration in Murcia one month in which to cancel the measure before it takes legal steps.