Around the corner with the parental pin

Fighting for an education without ideology, for all, is part of what we need at this moment for an authentic educational and social regeneration.

March 23rd, 2021-Reading time: 3 minutes

Photo credit: Siora Photography / Unsplash

A few years ago, the expression parental pin to refer to the password that parents have on televisions and other devices to block access to certain television channels to their children. A measure to protect minors from content harmful to their maturity and education. With this reference, and with the same name, the Regional Ministry of Education of the Region of Murcia proposed that parents could decide that their children should not receive certain educational contents if they do not consider them appropriate because they go against their moral or religious convictions.

These days, as a result of the failed motion of censure in the Region of Murcia, the so-called 'parental pin' has been in the media again, as one of the bartering pieces to support or not the aforementioned motion.

Beyond the political battle and the concrete political measure, the issue has great relevance. It reminds us of the famous phrase of Minister Celaá: "We cannot think in any way that children belong to their parents". And it raises a profound debate: ultimately, who is responsible for the education of children?

Although it is true that the child does not belong to anyone, the truth is that, due to the maturity stage in which he/she is, parents have the obligation and the right to educate him/her.

Javier Segura

Returning to the famous affirmation of the Minister of Education, it is clear that the child belongs to no one. It is an inviolable person and is nobody's possession. He does not belong to his parents. And much less of the State. But if it is true that the child does not belong to anyone, the truth is that, because of the maturity stage in which he is, the parents have the obligation and the right to educate him until he reaches his maturity as a person. The State, which has to coordinate and implement the entire educational system, has a subsidiary function in education, in a way, delegated from the families themselves.

Those who advocate that children should be taught content related to these moral issues appeal to Article 26 on Education of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to speak of the right of the child to receive a comprehensive education. According to their vision, no child can be denied to be educated in these contents because they would be deprived of an essential formation. It is the 'higher good' of the child that should be defended. And families could not oppose this. Introducing these ideas to students, according to this vision, is not indoctrination, but education to create better people for a better and fairer world.

In the case we are dealing with, the contents are highly ideological and will be taught under a certain prism. Those who defend these contents consider that it is necessary for children to assume these criteria (being in favor of abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, sexual relations at an early age...) and consider, deep down, that parents who do not educate their children in this way are doing them a serious disservice.

The issue, as can be easily understood, is not a minor one. We must not be misled by such ambiguous terms as 'the best interests of the child'. And we must be clear about what kind of ideas we want to transmit to children. The LOMLOE, of this there is no doubt, has as its educational intention to promote this vision of reality, even if families do not share it. And it will do so in a transversal way in all subjects and in a specific way in the new subject Education in civic and ethical values.

Gender ideology has become present in our society through a multitude of channels, and the school is just one more.

Javier Segura

But let us be honest and recognize that gender ideology has become present in our society through a multitude of channels, and that the school is just one more, and not precisely the one that has the greatest impact on the formation of our young people. In this sense, the work to be done by families is much more arduous. It is true that families must be attentive to the contents that their children receive and they have to denounce it to the corresponding administration if they see that these are not appropriate or go against their moral and religious convictions. But it is vital that there be a positive education, which manages to transmit an integrated vision of the human person, of sexuality, of the love between man and woman. And the Church has a fundamental role to play in this. I believe that it is the most important thing in this authentic cultural battle.

What about the 'parental pin'? I think that the educational administration should avoid ideologization in schools, giving a vision as impartial and neutral as possible of these contents, in case they arise. And parents should ensure that this is so, denouncing it to the educational administrations if these rules are not complied with.

Fighting for an education without ideology, for all, is part of what we need at this moment for an authentic educational and social regeneration.

The authorJavier Segura

Teaching Delegate in the Diocese of Getafe since the 2010-2011 academic year, he has previously exercised this service in the Archbishopric of Pamplona and Tudela, for seven years (2003-2009). He currently combines this work with his dedication to youth ministry directing the Public Association of the Faithful 'Milicia de Santa Maria' and the educational association 'VEN Y VERÁS. EDUCATION', of which he is President.

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