Italian Public School Only Accepts Students After Parents Sign “Statement of Faith”

The Goito City Council in Mantua, Italy has approved a resolution that essentially says if parents want their child accepted into the local public school, they must first sign a statement of faith.

The story’s in Italian but here’s a rough translation from one of the new law’s opponents:

“We believe it is the first time in Italy may experience such a thing, an extreme gravity, on whose constitutional checks must be done — says Maria Bacchi, vice president of the Center against discrimination — it is amazing regulation which effectively excludes school children are not Catholic.” Bacchi states that religious teachings “are legitimate, we are missing, but can not be such a regulation, perilous in a school funded with public money.”

In other words, religious teaching may be important, but what this school system is doing is a serious problem.

If anyone can gleam any more insight into this story, please let us know in the comments.

(Thanks to Michele for the link)

  • http://www.beginningwithi.com/comments/ Deirdré Straughan

    According to the article at http://www.affaritaliani.it/cronache/goito_asolo_comunale_solo_per_bimbi_cristiani240210.html , this is a public preschool/daycare although the neighborhood is very Catholic and one of the teachers at the school is a nun. The new rule would prohibit children lacking a “Christian vision” from attending the school. The mayor says this is all “much ado about nothing,” but it is a public school and the rule violates both Italian and European laws about publicly-financed institutions.

  • Richard Wade

    All over the world in constitutional democracies where this blatantly illegal stuff is prohibited, why do fools like these think they will get away with it? Do they live in fantasies in church so much that they just can’t stop when they walk into their city hall to pass a civil resolution? They’re just going to spend their town’s money on lawyer fees defending themselves from the inevitable lawsuits.

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/StephanGoodwin Stephan Goodwin

    All over the world in constitutional democracies where this blatantly illegal stuff is prohibited, why do fools like these think they will get away with it?

    The problem is that they do get away with it more often than not. Just look at the USA right now. God on money. God in the pledge. Faith-based initiatives. People everywhere opening government meetings with prayer. The National Day of Prayer.

    Anyways, they get away with abusing our rights for their religious beliefs all of the time, why should one more stab into our liberties be noticed?

  • gaga

    There isn’t a lot more to glean from the article, beside what has already been said.
    The only peculiar thing is that this kindergarten/daycare (it’s not clear whether this is a school or a daycare) is part of a religious organization and the new regulation is part of the guidelines of said organization.
    My suspicion is that this might be a publicly funded private school or a school which was private and was later absorbed by the state.
    I’ll have a look around to see if there’s anything more to it.

  • gaga

    Ok, after a little bit more surfing, the only reasonable comment I can make is:

    wat

    The facts seem to be the following:
    It’s a state school (not some strange mish-mash as I previously suspected).
    The personnel in there has almost always been mostly catholics (nuns and the like)
    The local administration (right-wing, what a shocker) has thought to regulate the situation by letting this kindergarten participate in an association of catholic schools and adopting a regulation which is standard for a catholic school.
    The thing is at the moment being discussed at various levels (there’s also been a formal inquiry to the goverment to clear things up)

    My comments on that would be that 1) the local administration is full of crap, and 2) we are, sadly, going to see this kind of issues again and again in the future.

    It should be said, though, that this is has more to do with racism than with religion. This is simply meant to exclude kids of middle and far-east origins. A lot of italian politicians are playing the fear angle when it comes to immigration, crime rates, etc.
    It’s sad, but after decades spent emigrating from our country, exporting delicious things like pizza, pasta and organized crime, we have become a bunch of racists…

  • muggle

    Great. Just great. Feel the Christian love. Suffer the little children not, let them come unto me — unless their parents won’t.

  • http://dipingoconluce.blogspot.com/ Emily

    I’d like to second what gaga said. I’m pretty sure that this is MUCH more about racism and xenophobia than about religion. On a related note, Mariastella Gelmini (the Minister of Education in Berlusconi’s cabinet) established a 30% ceiling on the number of foreign students allowed per classroom in public schools and universities. (http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/CultureAndMedia/?id=3.0.4176008111)
    Politicians love to fan the xenophobic flames, especially when the foreigners are around OUR CHILDREN OH NO! Religion in this case is just a veil.


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