All cases

Filtered by: Rights of Parents

Wales: Parents Lose Right to Withdraw Children from Sex Ed

January 21, 2020, United Kingdom

Following plans first proposed in a government consultation last year, parents of children attending Welsh schools will no longer have a legal right to withdraw their children from compulsory relationships and sex education (RSE), as well as and religious education (RE) classes.

Freedom of Conscience Rights of Parents

"Parental Pin" Policy Prompts Legal Action and Debate in Spain

January 20, 2020, Spain

A new policy aimed at affirming parental authority in Spanish schools in Murcia has made national headlines in the country. The so-called 'Parental Pin' would oblige schools in the autonomous region of Murcia to seek the permission of parents for student participation in extra-curricular activities, including lessons and workshops on LGBT issues given by external speakers.

Freedom of Conscience Rights of Parents

High Court Permanently Bans Protests against "No Outsiders" School Programme

November 26, 2019, United Kingdom

A High Court judge ruled in favor of an exclusion zone around a school in Birmingham permanent, preventing parents from protesting outside the grounds against the "No Outsiders" primary school programme that teaches about LGBT relationships. Many parents and activists claim the programme contradicts their faith and is not "age appropriate." A temporary exclusion zone was first imposed by the courts in the summer after months of protests outside Anderton Park Primary School by mostly Muslim parents. Birmingham City Council claimed that the order was sought from the courts over safety concerns.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Legal Extension of IVF Met with Staunch Opposition in France

October 6, 2019, France

Tens of thousands of French protestors took to the streets of Paris on October 6th to protest the draft bioethics law which passed the lower house of parliament on September 25th. The bill would, amongst other provisions, allow all women under 43 the right to "medically assisted procreation," including in-vitro fertilization (IVF), regardless of their relationship status, or sexual orientation. Currently, French law only allows access to IVF to heterosexual couples unable to have children through natural means, who are either married, or who have lived together for two years.

Equality Militant Equality Laws Rights of Parents

UK School Employee Challeges Dismissal for Raising Concerns about Sex Education

April 16, 2019, United Kingdom

Kristie Higgs, a Christian school worker will challenge a Gloucestershire school academy’s decision to dismiss her for gross misconduct. She was dismissed after she shared two posts on her Facebook page in October 2018 that raised concerns about Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at another school in the same village - her child’s Church of England primary school. Higgs was told following an investigation and a six hour hearing that she would be dismissed without notice for gross misconduct.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Freedom of Expression Rights of Parents

Sex Education Guidelines May Interfere with Parents' Rights

March 4, 2019, United Kingdom

New "relationships and sex education" (RSE) guidance published on February 25th requires schools to teach primary and secondary school children about LGBT relationships and may not permit parents to opt-out. Parents of primary school children are permitted to withdraw their children from the sex education component of RSE, but the relationships component would be mandatory.

Rights of Parents

Parents Threaten Action against School that Required Children to Participate in Gay Pride Parade

November 20, 2018, United Kingdom

In November, several parents of children who were required to participate in a "Proud to be me" pride parade at the Heavers Farm Primary School in South East London threatened legal action. Despite numerous complaints from parents, they were informed that no opt-outs would be allowed. Parents, including Izoduwa Adhedo, reported that they were treated dismissively and victimized following their complaints. "I wasn't even trying to stop the Pride event. I just wanted my child to receive an education, rather than indoctrination," Adhedo said.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

"Rainbow Friday" May Violate Polish Constitution and Education Law

October 26, 2018, Poland

For the third year in a row, more than 200 schools across Poland participated in "Rainbow Friday," a campaign to celebrate and promote acceptance of LGBT issues. The Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture examined whether such an addition to the school curriculum violated the education law and interfered with the constitutionally protected rights of parents to direct the education of their children. It encouraged parents who objected to their children's participation in the program to inform the schools of their wishes, and to report violations if their children are compelled to attend.

Rights of Parents

Parents Halt School Procession during Holy Week

March 23, 2018, Spain

The parents of a two-year old student objected to the school participating in the Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows) procession. The Escuela Infantil Sagrada Familia organized the procession from the school to the neighborhood parish on March 23rd as part of the traditional celebrations of the Holy Week. The school council approved the voluntary event, but the Andalusian educational authority cancelled it after the parents complained.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Rights of Parents

Provocative Play Advertised in Front of Catholic Schools

March 21, 2018, Spain

The City Council of Madrid placed an advertising poster for a publicly-funded theatrical performance entitled "The place where the whores pray" (El lugar donde rezan las putas) directly in front of two Catholic schools. The play, performed at the public Teatro Español, was described by promoters as exploring "theater in times of rage."

Insult or Incitement Rights of Parents

Leftist Party Opposed to any Easter Activities at Schools

March 19, 2018, Spain

The political party Equo Andalucía demanded that the Junta de Andalucía (Regional Government of Andalusia) exercise extreme vigilance to prevent public schools from organizing and celebrating Easter processions for children during Holy Week. Party leaders reminded the government that they had registered complaints about children's processions the previous year.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Rights of Parents

Swedish Social Democrats Seek to Ban all Religious Schools

March 13, 2018, Sweden

The governing party announced the proposal on March 13, 2018, citing concerns about "systematic gender segregation and opinions that do not belong in Swedish schools." Although no examples of problems in Christian schools were cited, they would be included in the plan. Jewish schools would be exempted.

Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws Rights of Parents

Government Guidance Ensures "Gender Inclusive School Environment"

December 13, 2017, United Kingdom

New government guidance by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) encourages schools to “ensure the visibility” of transgender perspectives in the classroom.

Militant Equality Laws Rights of Parents

Parents' Campaign Forces Church School to Ban Christian Charity Group; Wants Symbols Removed

October 17, 2017, United Kingdom

After a parents' group complained about a Christian charity's "fundamentalist approach" in discussions of sin, St. John's Church of England Primary School in Tunbridge Wells agreed to block CrossTeach from running assemblies or giving lessons. The campaign also demands the removal of crosses, Bibles and clergy from Church of England school assemblies.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Rights of Parents

Court Rules Christian Child Can be Returned to Family

August 29, 2017, United Kingdom

A Christian five-year-old girl was placed into foster care with a Muslim family in London. Confidential local authority reports suggest that the foster family removed the girl's Christian cross necklace, suggested she learn Arabic, and forbade her from eating pork. In addition, It was alleged that when she had a visit with her biological mother, the girl said that Christmas was “stupid” and European women are “stupid alcoholics”. The court having jurisdiction ruled on August 29, 2017 that the girl should be placed with her grandmother.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

U.K. May Scrap Single-Faith Schools

July 23, 2017, United Kingdom

Christian schools may soon be required to ensure that half of their students are from different religious backgrounds, due to concerns that Christian-only schools "heighten community divisions."

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Saying Grace in Christian Kindergarten Prohibited

June 26, 2017, Sweden

An independent religious kindergarten in Umeå, Sweden, was forced to stop saying grace before meals by the county government. The Education Act says that religious elements may be included in education at independent schools, but they must be voluntary in order for the children to participate. The law does not say that the children themselves must agree, but rather that their parents consent on their behalf. The county argued that the children have not made the choice to participate in saying grace and have thus prohibited it. Preschool Director Britt Marie Mårtensson said they replaced grace with "Thank you for the sun and the rain and the food on our table."

Freedom of Expression Rights of Parents

School Holidays Changed to Remove Religious Connection

June 3, 2017, Spain

The Ministry of Education in Spain has proposed changing the Carnival and Easter Holidays to a week in late February and May respectively in order to remove the religious connections from the school holidays. This proposal is waiting to be ratified and implemented for the school year 2017/2018.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Social Worker Discouraged Parents from Christening Son

April 13, 2017, United Kingdom

A social worker from Kent met with parents who were considering placing their child for adoption and told them the chances of their son being adopted would be hindered if he were “christened into the Christian faith,” after they expressed their wish to have their son baptized.

Freedom of Religion Negative Stereotyping Rights of Parents

German Family's Homeschooling Case Filed at European Court of Human Rights

April 6, 2017, Germany

The Wunderlich family brought its case against Germany to the European Court of Human Rights in April 2017. In 2013, the Christian parents began homeschooling their children. German authorities took temporary custody of the children and imposed criminal penalties on the parents for not sending their children to school. The European Court of Human Rights will examine whether Germany violated the Wunderlich’s fundamental right of parents to direct the education of their children.

Rights of Parents

Government Announces Compulsory Sex Education

February 28, 2017, United Kingdom

The government announced that sex and relationships education will become compulsory in all of England's schools. Relationships education will be compulsory for all pupils from the age of four years, but parents will have the right to withdraw their children from sexual education program. Critics view the law as weakening the influence of parents' right to educate their children about sex and relationships.

Rights of Parents

Humanist Society Scotland Challenges Parental Opt-Out for Religious Observance in Schools; wants Children to Decide

September 12, 2016, United Kingdom

The Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) is seeking judicial review after the Scottish Government rejected calls for a change to the current rules which permit only parents to opt out on their children’s behalf.

Rights of Parents

Green Party a Threat to Religious Liberty in Australia

May 21, 2016, International

Archbishop Anthony Fisher warned that religious liberty is at stake in Australia's national elections because of the Green's proposed $32 million "Safe Schools" Program which would charge parents, schools, and churches with discrimination if they fail to conform.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Militant Equality Laws Rights of Parents

Norway Begins Adoption Process for 5 Children Seized From Christian Parents

December 31, 2015, Norway

Norwegian child services have begun the adoption process for five children who were seized from a Romanian Pentecostal family in November after concerns were expressed about the parents' Christian faith, the family says.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Norway's Child Welfare Services Removes Five Children from a Pentecostal Christian Couple

November 16, 2015, Norway

According to a petition in support of the family which has attracted more than 22,600 signatures, the couple have been charged with "Christian radicalism and indoctrination".

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Student Physically Forced to Attend Sex Education

June 22, 2015, Germany

In North Rhine-Westphalia, a 10 year old boy was forcefully removed from his home and forced to attend sex education without his parents’ consent.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Parents Protesting Against Aggressive Sex Education Attacked by Counter-Demonstration in Hamburg

January 25, 2015, Germany

Protesters demonstrated against the "violation of parents’ rights in education" of their children.150 parents were attacked by about 600 left-wing radicals who threw eggs, fireworks and bottles into the crowd of demonstrators. A 15 year-old girl had to be taken to the hospital. Police intervened.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Hate Incident Rights of Parents

Organized Campaign Against Building Religious Schools in Madrid

November 28, 2014, Spain

A group of people organized a campaign against building religious schools in Spain and painted slogans "Your education - our destruction” on walls of the church of Santa Monica in Rivas Vaciamadrid. Moreover, some protesters in green jerseys (as a symbol of public schools) broke into the church with praying people to express their opinion. Local right-wing party PP decalred that it was another example of the radical atmosphere in the town.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

German Father Imprisoned for Opting his Child out of Sex Education

April 7, 2014, Germany

On Monday, April 7th, Arthur Wiens was jailed for opting his child out of a sex education class in which nine-year-olds are taught about sexual intercourse with a plush vagina and rubber penis. Wiens spent a week behind bars, and his wife is threatened with a similar punishment.

Rights of Parents

Christian Parents Convicted for Home-schooling, Appeal Rejected

October 24, 2013, Germany

On May 22nd the district court sentenced the parents of nine to pay a fine of 700 Euro each for their violation of the compulsory school attendance for all children in Germany. The public prosecution department demanded six months in prison for the married couple due to their repeated offense. An appeal was rejected in October.

Rights of Parents

Government Takes Children From Christian Community

September 5, 2013, Germany

In the early morning of September 5th, a massive police raid of 100 police and 60 social workers descended on two of the Christian Twelve Tribes Communities of Klosterzimmern and Wörnitz. The police seized 40 children from 16 families and took them away in 25 vans on allegations of physical abuse.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

No Parental Consent with Regard to Abortion

May 21, 2013, Belgium

Parental consent with regard to abortion virtually does not exist. There is no legal requirement to inform the parents of a minor wanting abortion. However, if the minor needs full anaesthesia, the parents will need to give their consent.

Rights of Parents

State Claims Political Correctness in Schools

May 21, 2013, France

The state is very strict with regard to political correctness in schools. It is very difficult for Christian teachers to debate with their pupils about abortion. One of the most striking cases was Philippe Hisnard, a French Catholic teacher who was revoked and suspended from teaching because he organised a debate about abortion in a class of “civic education”.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Home-schooling Prohibited

May 21, 2013, Germany

“Home-schooling” is prohibited. Parents’ rights are commonly understood to include the right to choose the form of education of one’s children, including the possibility of non-institutional education, such as so-called home-schooling. Germany, however, allows home-schooling only in the most exceptional circumstances. In general, parents do not have the option to home-school their children. Offenders have to pay fines, and occasionally prison sentences are pronounced.

Rights of Parents

Home-schooling Severely Limited

May 21, 2013, Slovakia

Home-schooling is severely limited in Slovakia. In fact, it is allowed only for pupils of 1st - 4th class in basic schools, for disabled children, or for children in custody and who are not able to go to school for longer than two months for health reasons. Permission for “individual education” must be granted by the director of the district school of the pupil. Another major problem is that the person who teaches the pupils must have a pedagogical university qualification. As a consequence, home-schooling is very rare in Slovakia.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

State Educational Programme Angers Christian Parents

May 21, 2013, Spain

Spanish educational law includes a set of mandatory subjects under the generic category of Education for Citizenship which are indoctrinatory and violates the rights of parents. The Education for Citizenship curriculum is mandatory for primary and secondary education (children ages 10-16), and must be implemented into all Spanish schools (public and private).

Defamation Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Home-schooling Practically Prohibited

May 21, 2013, Sweden

According to the Education Act (2010:800) home-schooling is practically forbidden in Sweden. Home-schooling is allowed only when exceptional circumstances apply, which is hardly ever granted. According to the preparatory work of the government bill, permissions should be granted with great restraint, stating explicitly that religious and philosophical reasons are not to be considered as exceptional circumstances.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

No Opt Out of Sex Education

May 21, 2013, Sweden

In 2011, the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company, a public service company (UR), launched a sex education campaign in Swedish schools, called “Putting sex on the map” (co-produced by RFSU, a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation), targeting children of lower secondary school age. Parents objected to the content of the materials, including explicit images and sex scenes, and scientific information, including physical and psychological risks of early sex debut and many sexual partners or abortion.

Rights of Parents

No Parental Consent Necessary for Minors' Abortion

May 21, 2013, Sweden

There is no parental consent with regard to abortion. Much attention was drawn to a case where an eleven-year-old girl had undergone two abortions in a very short period of time without parental consent. The Parliamentary Ombudsman held that it had gone too far and concluded that “it is obvious that a child of this age (11 years) does not have the maturity to consider the consequences of an abortion by herself.”

Rights of Parents

Home-schooling Prohibition Challenged at European Court of Human Rights

April 22, 2013, Sweden

Alliance Defending Freedom and the Home School Legal Defence Association have asked the European Court of Human Rights to hear the case of a Swedish family heavily fined for home-schooling their daughter. Although the 13-year-old girl flourished in her home-schooling environment, local Swedish authorities fined her family the equivalent of more than $28,000.

Rights of Parents

Schoolchild Punished for Refusing to Memorise a Verse of the Koran

January 29, 2013, France

A child at a Catholic school in France was punished for refusing to memorise a verse of the Koran in January 2013. At the school of Notre Dame de St Mihiel in the Meuse, Lorraine, a pupil refused to memorise a verse of the Koran as a part of a class on Islam. Two mothers arranged a meeting with the teacher to explain their disagreement with the punishment. Instead of removing the punishment or allowing the student to opt-out of the class the school director informed the mother of the punished child that she considers removing the child from the school.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

New Mandatory Sex Ed Programme Violates Rights of Parents

January 27, 2013, Croatia

Christian parents are outraged over the contents of the governments new sex ed. programme. The government insisted and made opting out illegal, until the constitutional court found that the contents were against the law.

Rights of Parents

Minister of Science, Education and Sports Recommendation not in Keeping with Legal Regulations

January 1, 2013, Croatia

The Recommendation by the Minister of Science, Education and Sports, Mr. Ž. Jovanović, on conducting religious instruction in elementary schools during the first and last hours of the day (as of April 3, 2012), is still in force. This Recommendation discriminates against the regular nature of religious instruction which was agreed upon in international contracts.

Rights of Parents

New Legislation on Gay Marriage Might Get Teachers Fired

November 18, 2012, United Kingdom

The British Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, Liz Truss, states she was not able to rule out the possibility that teachers refusing to use stories or textbooks favoring same sex- marriage face disciplinary consequences.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Rights of Parents

German Parents Lose Custody of Their Children for Homeschooling

October 5, 2012, Germany

A district court in Darmstadt, Germany has revoked custody of four children from their parents and ordered it turned over to the Jugendamt, Germany’s child protective agency.

Rights of Parents

„Homeschooling“ Still Prohibited

September 19, 2012, Germany

Parents rights are commonly understood to include the right to chose the form of education of one’s children, including the possibility of non-institutional education, such as the so-called homeschooling. Not so in Germany.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Compulsory Sex Ed Problematic for Christian Families

September 19, 2012, Germany

Germany’s strict federal laws on compulsory school attendance do not allow any opt out with regard to sexual education.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Prime Minister Thinks Teachers Should Not Be Allowed to Teach that Homosexual Behavior Was a Sin

September 16, 2012, United Kingdom

Prime minister David Cameron thinks that faith schools should not be allowed to teach that homosexuality is a sin, according to a quote featured by the Daily Mail.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents

Teachers and Others Threatened With Dismissal if They Didn’t Endorse Gay Marriage

September 12, 2012, United Kingdom

If gay marriage is legalized, teachers and others could be forced out of their jobs if they fail to endorse such unions, a top lawyer says. Parents would have no right to insist that their children are withdrawn from school lessons across the curriculum that approve of same-sex marriage. Chaplains who work in the NHS or the Armed Forces could be dismissed if they preach that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Freedom of Conscience Rights of Parents

CoE PACE Proposal Might Endanger Parents' Rights to Religious Education

September 6, 2012, European Institutions (EU, ECHR,

French member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe proposed a report on the protection of children against 'sectarian drifts' which possibly collides with the parents' right to religious education of their choice.

Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents