Family at centre of Canet controversy accuses Education Department of "stoking" feelings of hatred

Open letter defends the family's position over the use of Spanish in schools

2 min
A mother accompanies her children at the Cerro del Dragón school in Canet de Mar.

BarcelonaThe family of the five-year-old pupil at Canet de Mar's Turó del Drac school that demanded more classes in Spanish accused the Department of Education of "stoking" feelings of hatred among the population. In a letter written mixing Catalan and Spanish and spread by the Assembly for a Bilingual School, the entity that advises families who want more classes in Spanish for their children, the parents say that they do not want media attention and that the only thing they have done is to ask for compliance with the law and defend their rights. The family accuses the Catalan Government of lying when it assures that the current model of linguistic immersion is legal and considers that, as a result of the Supreme Court's ruling, 25% of classes ought to be in Spanish throughout Catalonia. "Don't be fooled," they say. They regret having suffered intimidation and threats, they are grateful for the solidarity, but they demand serenity and do not support any mobilisations.

The family claims that they have been unlucky because the ruling on their case came shortly after the Supreme Court's decision. They explain that the Education Department received a notification regarding their specific case in October and it "did not appeal". Therefore, they wonder why they have now gone to school to protest the court decision and did not do so in other similar cases. "Are you seeking to heat up the atmosphere before the protests?" they ask, and reproach the Department over their suffering.

The missive goes on to explain that they want to recover the good atmosphere, they are grateful for the work of the teacher and the support of other families in the school, even though they ask them to to show this support not only in private but also in public. "To feel the hatred, the intimidation, the threats, and the pointing of fingers in one's own skin is very hard. We have felt like crying many times," the family says. They reply to these people that they are not against Catalan, but that they value it and enjoy the "richness" it brings, but they say that they are bilingual and that they also value Spanish.

To finish, they claim to have come to the conclusion that one has to stop "swallowing and swallowing" and one has to be brave for what one thinks, stand up and democratically demand one's rights. "It is time to build a school for all, truly inclusive," they say. The family closes the letter with Bob Marley's phrase, "Stand up for your rights".