A child draped in the Catalan flag. Archive photo: Josep Lago/AFP.
The Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport is collecting evidence of "indoctrination" and "lack of neutrality" during the pro-independence drive in 2017 in at least 24 schools in Catalonia.
The ministry is collecting evidence at the behest of the central government regarding the potential "impartial" role of schools during the independence referendum held in Catalonia in 2017, which was declared illegal by Spain's highest court and led to clashes and arrests of key pro-separatist political figures.
A mother at the IES Montserrat Roig de Terrassa school in Barcelona allegedly complained that her underage son was receiving "radical pro-independence classes."
Parents at another school, IES Miquel Biada de Mataró, have apparently denounced the "political use" of school grounds, according to a report in Spanish daily El Mundo.
At another primary school, a father is said to have complained that a play group was used "to protest the incarceration of the Jordis."
In October 2017, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez, two high-profile Catalan separatist figures, were jailed by order of a Spanish court for sedition for their role in the pro-independence referendum. They remain behind bars, with large demonstrations only last month in Catalonia calling for their release.
A teacher at the IES Castellet de Sant Vicenç de Castellet secondary school allegedly complained that the school advertises itself online as being in Catalonia. At another school, a parent alleges that a teacher told pupils: "Those who speak Castilian are rude and poor."
Teachers at other schools apparently denounced the police's "brutal violence" after the referendum in a communiqué; at another school teachers allegedly asked students to wear a t-shirt featuring the 'estelada' – the Catalan flag, reports Spanish daily El Periodico.
The ministry says it has also received "anonymous complaints" from parents, which have not been included in the dossier, adds El Periodico's article.
The Catalan regional government, led by self-exiled former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, pushed forward a referendum on independence on October 1st 2017, despite repeated warnings from the central government and Spain's highest court that the referendum was illegal.
The central government in Madrid then activated Article 155 of the constitution to suspend regional sovereignty, effectively assuming governance of the region.
Subsequent regional elections on December 21st in Catalonia returned a pro-separatist majority again.