Sunday, August 14

The Prosecutor’s Office rules out that the Government discriminated against the girl from Canet who asked for more Spanish in class

Neither the Generalitat nor the Turó del Drac school in Canet de Mar (Barcelona) discriminated against the girl after the court order for the minor to receive 25% of classes in Spanish. This has been concluded by the Superior Prosecutor’s Office of Catalonia, which has ruled out that the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, and the Minister of Education, Josep González-Cambray, called for disregarding the student and disobeying court rulings to increase the presence of the Spanish in the classrooms.

The decree of the superior prosecutor of Catalonia, Francisco Bañeres, is a document to remember. Not only because of its analysis of what happened in the specific case of the Canet family, which became part of the national political debate, but also because of its future implications for all the directors of Catalan educational centers, who will be in charge of applying the ruling that requires the implementation of 25% of Spanish in class.

The Prosecutor’s Office thus marks the terrain in which the execution of the sentence of 25% of Spanish in all educational centers will move during the coming months on the eve of the Generalitat announcing its plan to try to circumvent it. The Public Ministry pronounces itself on the complaints raised by entities opposed to immersion, the Association for the Bilingual School (AEB) and Hablamos Español, and the ultra trade union Manos Limpias.

Regarding the girl from Canet, the head of the Prosecutor’s Office in Catalonia concludes that “there is no evidence” that this student or any other from the community who has demanded more Spanish “have been discriminated against in the provision of the public educational service” both by the directors of its centers as well as by the central services of the Ministry of Education. What’s more, the prosecutor stresses that directions and ministry “have promptly complied” with the court orders that impose 25% of Spanish in the classroom after the claims of some eighty families.

Bañeres recalls that the Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office already maintains an open investigation into the threatening tweets against Canet’s family that occurred after the court order. These “execrable acts of moral lynching and attack against the personal and family safety” of the minor, clarifies the prosecutor, cannot be attributed to the management or the center or the president or the minister, since both have strictly complied with the 25% Spanish.

The demonstrations by Aragonès and González-Cambray against the courts for imposing 25% of classes in Spanish, underlines the prosecutor, have occurred “in the exercise of their freedom of expression” and “do not break or collide with the rights to personal security and family” of the girl from Canet de Mar.

The issue of Spanish at school affects not only the Canet center. The Generalitat must notify the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) before this Friday how it will comply with the ruling that requires it to introduce 25% Spanish in all schools in the community, not only in those where a family claims it . Bañeres also refers to this in his decree.

In the first place, the prosecutor rules out that the president and minister have disobeyed the court order for now with their statements and with the letter that González-Cambray sent to the directors last November. The minister’s letter to the directors after the Supreme Court’s resolution on 25% “cannot be understood as an order or instruction,” argues the prosecutor, who calls the letter “absolutely inane administratively” as it basically contains “proclamations of political character”.

“Beyond statements critical of the judicial resolution, there is no evidence that concrete action has been carried out with significance and effectiveness at the administrative level tending to neglect” the sentence on 25%, asserts the prosecutor, who recalls that they are not the politicians but the directors of the schools who are in charge of implementing it.

The linguistic projects of the schools are a “clear and inescapable” competence of their directors, recalls the prosecutor, and consequently the directors are in charge of applying the 25% if a family requests it, without having to go to court again, as in fact happened in the case of Canet. In other words: unless the Generalitat assumes powers over language projects, it is the directors who are exposed to criminal consequences if they do not abide by 25% of Spanish in the classrooms.



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