Drop homeschool charges against Spanish family

The Sala-González family has chosen to educate their son at home, which is a reasonable educational choice in accordance with Spanish constitutional and legal rights. There is no Spanish law in existence that expressly forbids home education, nor does such a prohibition exist in the various international conventions signed by Spain. In fact, the opposite is true—the right to educate one’s children at home is a parental right recognized by Art. 26(3) of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Mr. and Mrs. Sala-González are responsible parents whose good conduct has been confirmed by Spanish welfare workers. They have chosen to educate their child themselves within their home, which is a parental right protected by the Spanish Constitution. Articles 27.1 and 27.3 recognize the freedom of teaching and guarantee parents the right to choose the format of their children’s education. In previous cases, the Spanish courts have considered the right to an education to be protected and guaranteed not only by means of school attendance and the integration of the pupil within the official education system, but also by that “educational training carried out at the fringes of official teachings is perfectly acceptable within the framework of the freedoms created by the Constitution.” Home education is an acceptable method of education under this definition. Also, in places in Spain such as the Basque Country, Andalusia, and Catalonia, among others, jurisprudence on the subject of legal recognition and viability of home education already exists. This is not a case of truancy or educational neglect on the part of the parents, but quite the contrary. Instead, this could be described as a case of greatest educational enthusiasm—Mr. and Mrs. Sala-Gonzáles have offered their son the best possible education, one that respects both his individual needs and that is coherent with the family’s values. These values are in keeping with the democratic values of the Spanish state and are therefore completely respectable. We express our support for the accused Sala-Gonzáles family and declare that we believe home education is a natural right of parents and that parents, no matter where they reside, should be afforded the freedom to direct the education of their children. Homeschooling is growing not just in Spain and in Europe, but is flourishing around the world. We respectfully ask that you drop the charges against the Sala-Gonzáles family.

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Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) & Asociación por la Libre Educación (Ale)

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