The ‘General Assembly Lluís Vives’, integrated by members of the entire school’s community has met on January 15 2013 in order to show their condemnation of the degrading condition of public education as well as of our fundamental rights.
First of all, a couple of things should be brought to mind.
On February 15, 2012, a group of students from our school was beaten by the police with disproportioned violence after demonstrating in the middle of the road during 10 minutes. Clashes, beatings and detentions followed up till February 20. The young demonstrators were neither violent nor ready to cope with such display of despotic and repressive power. We parents were not ready either to be taken back to a time in our country’s history where baton-wielding policemen was the usual method to end up pro-democracy demonstrations.
Such actions inflicted physical and psychological damage to many students and our school’s community was forced to come together so as to provide support of all kinds which should restore normality. That was not an easy assignment, though, but the year came to a positive final conclusion in terms of academic results and to outstanding University access grades.
We would also like to remark the great job done by our headmaster Carmina and the rest of the school’s managing board, who led the way in helping the students to get back to everyday’s work despite the unjustified, outdated violence they had undergone. Instead of repression, normality in school life was restored by the students’ own responsible initiative. We want to express our deepest thankfulness to the school management as well as report and condemn the great amount of political pressure they have since suffered from our local educational authorities, and meaning further cutbacks and restrictions concerning school life. Their attitude was at all time appeasing and constructive.
Last year’s incidents also brought about great number of detentions, claims sued at Court, injuries and medical reports, identifications and penalties. Legal assistance therefore became an essential part of the school’s support network. Highly efficient, on-the-spot legal aid was soon offered by a group of lawyers on a free of charge basis. Over the past year, they have also established themselves as ‘Associació Jurídica Primavera Valenciana‘. Except for two penalties, all files against students have been either solved in their favour or suspended by judges, who have in some cases publicly expressed their proximity to the students’ attitude.
Numerous hearings still remain to be attended, and over 70 out of 231 penalties sued by the Government’s Delegate have been appealed. Bludgeoned children and bludgeoned rights remain to be defended at court, but this time not only have our rights been beaten but also taxed through the new law which will charge higher taxes for legal defence, on a clearly dissuasive strategy against the defence of civil rights.
This is only last year’s memorandum, but it is by no means the end of the story. However absurd the police raids may have been, they appear to us so much more lethal today when flanked by a hoard of legal measures such the new ‘law of legal taxes’ and the new LOMCE-education law.
Behind the nonsensical words of the Minister of Education, Mr Wert, lie the dismantlement of the public schooling system and the disappearance of school boards, where teachers, parents and school workers have a say on the school’s management.
Democracy will disappear from schools and power will return to school headmasters, who will stand as lonely characters more easily prone to give in to political pressure. The new law will subordinate education to market laws and will continue to pack our schools with 40 students per classroom. Quality tests will be outsourced in spite of our staffs of qualified teachers and the education system will turn towards social segregation.
Our schools will cease to be a place where the potentials of future citizens can be enhanced through learning and culture, and will no doubt become a huge social filter, where our background will add to the system in letting us fall where we “naturally” belong.
One year has passed and as teachers, families and students, we are perfectly aware that we are not able to rely on our present Government to provide for and take care of the quality and universality of the public schooling system, as stated in our Constitution. That is the reason why none of us should march alone in defence of these ideals, since repression has grown strong, multifaceted and complex.
That is why the General Assembly of IES Lluís Vives and the ‘Associació Jurídica Primavera Valenciana’ are making a call for the ‘Primavera Valenciana Anniversary Concert’, which will be held on February 15 at the ‘Palau de Congressos’ in Valencia, where more than 20 artists and music bands will be showing their work on a non-profit basis.
That is why we have set ourselves to collect funds which should provide us with a solid network for the defence of our civil rights.
That is why our voices must be heard together for the preservation of our public services.
That is why we must become aware and committed to the construction of our state of rights. Only by daily, active participation within institutions and collective organizations, shall we manage to withstand these modern totalitarian raids in all fields, and the subsequent and calculated moves towards brutal privatization.
Just as voting every four years will not be a guarantee for our democracy, just as well monthly demonstrations will not open the doors to change. They are all necessary actions but not enough in number.
Society is not asking Why? or What for? any more. We all want to know How? Because the time it will take us to learn the answer will be the time which we are giving all those who are standing behind batons and unfair laws. The concert on 15F shouldn’t be a mere celebration, but the time and the place to say How.
That is also the reason why we want to thank all artists and professionals, as well as BarnaSants, in charge of production, and all those publishers participating in the project, for their social compromise. We would also like to thank the producers of the soon–to-be-premiered documentary ‘Estudiar en Primavera’, for their vital task of publicity and diffusion in the media. They are all great samples of personal involvement and concern for social construction, which will make us better people and a better country in a deeper and longer-lasting way than gross national income.
València, January 16th 2013