An open letter from the families of the teachers being pursued for debating the 1-O referendum

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup, Vilaweb

Photo: Palau de Sant Andreu School in Barcelona (Credit: Vilaweb)

By Vilaweb

From 26th April 2018

“At The Palau de Sant Andreu School in Barcelona on October 2nd, 2017, the day after the referendum, students were given the opportunity to undertake a moment of silence in the courtyard (secondary students) or at the entrance (students at baccalaureate level). The teachers gave the students freedom to decide if they wanted to attend or not. It is not true that they were required to do so. In the classrooms, a small debate was allowed, where the students themselves could talk about the events that had occurred the day before. In no case did the teachers impose their opinions. It is absolutely false to indicate that children of Civil Guards were humiliated or that any animosity was expressed towards the corps of the Civil Guard.

The reaction of the parents of some students to what we understood as an act of freedom of expression was to blame and denounce some teachers for the crime of incitement to hatred. The first defendant teachers repeated repeatedly to the rest of their colleagues that in no case had anything been done that could be described in these terms. The list of accused teachers is continually being extended, without cause or basis, from two to eleven. On the student side, of the thousand students who attend the institute, a total of eighteen families have signed up on the prosecuting side of the judgement, and the remainder have no involvement.

In January 2018, they were all called to make declarations before a judge at the Ciutat de la Justícia. They answered all the questions put to them, and denied all the accusations that were attributed to them. Both the declarants and the defense assumed the case would be archived, given that there was simply no wrong done.

Months later, the office of the public prosecutor gave credence to the case of the Civil Guard, ignoring the statements of the defendants. We, the relatives, denounce to the public their helplessness. Recall that the Department of Education has been taken over via Article 155 and therefore has silenced any public manifestation that would counteract the prevailing story.

We denounce the lack of rigor of some media, as well as the media campaign that has taken the arguments of the public prosecutor for granted, without waiting for the action of justice. We also denounce that members of the Spanish government have taken the side of prosecutor’s office describing facts which have not been proven. We denounce the dehumanization that is practiced once again, ignoring the presumption of innocence of the accused.

Our family members are education professionals who have a long working history and have always been highly valued by their classmates and students. They are solid people, who understand education as something more than the transmission of knowledge, that is to say, they have ethical values ​​and put them into practice. It is totally improbable to accuse them of doing the opposite of what they have always done: educating in coexistence and respect.

It’s really hurtful for us, the families of these teachers, to see people we love subjected to defamation, calumnies and injurious statements. The scale to which this has been taken is excessive and does not help the normal functioning of the judicial process or the educational work of the school.

We want to make it clear that we are confident in the actions of justice.”


Family members of the school’s teachers

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