By Sarah Keane • 26 March 2021 • 11:48
CALLS for the resignation of Spain’s Education Minister for insulting a PP deputy with a Down syndrome daughter
Spain’s Minister of Education Isabel Celaa was forced to apologise on Thursday, March 25 for telling a PP deputy that he didn’t know what he was talking about when he defended special education schools, despite the fact that he is father to a girl with Down syndrome. In spite her apology, several politicians and disability groups have branded her behaviour “unacceptable” and called for her resignation.
During a meeting in Congress, deputy of the PP Juan Jose Matari told the room how much his daughter Andrea enjoys attending a special education centre, and questioned why the minister is “legislating outside the Constitution.” Ms Celaa clearly wasn’t listening to the deputy’s heart-felt story as he replied sharply:
“Mr. Matarí, where are you coming from? You have no contact, neither with the educational world, nor with parents, nor with children, nor with teachers. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her comments were met by shocked laughter from the PSOE bench.
Defending her response, Ms Celaa took to Twitter, writing:
“My answer focused on his question, which accused me of legislating against the Constitution. It was never my intention to disrespect him, neither him nor his family,” she said.
“My commitment to people with disabilities and their families is unequivocal.”
On Wednesday, March 24, disability rights group Inclusive Education Platform Yes, Special Also, demanded the resignation of the minister for responding “in a mean and miserable way, inappropriate for the position she represents,” in the words of José María Escudero, spokesperson for the platform.
Likewise, the PP registered a proposal requesting the removal of the minister for “the contempt shown to families who wish to school their children in special education centres, for violating the constitutional right to freedom of education and for promoting a law that violates the freedom of families who wish to educate their children in special education centres.
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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