With the schools about to open, the Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti – Uaar) sent a letter to the minister of Health and to the minister of Education to verify how they mean to preserve the rights of all those students, aged from 3 to 18 years old and always growing in number, who do not want to endure the Catholic Religion Teaching.
The public healthcare crisis we’re living, in facts, is obviously incompatible the already unacceptable practice of sending those students to other classrooms, as a work-around for the schools who don’t want or allegedly can’t provide alternative non-religious teachings.
«The law is clear», states the letter, signed by Secretary Roberto Grendene: «No discrimination, of any kind, can be tolerated between those who choose the optional Catholic Religion Teaching and those who opt out. Uaar demands that every student who said no to religion classes and chose to stay at school, be ensured a teacher and a healthy and safe space to attend an alternative non-religion lesson since the very first day of school. The school year 2020/21 cannot see any case of students sent off in other classrooms, or even worse forced to suffer a religion teaching they refused».
We hope every necessary measure is taken, «keeping in mind that catholic religion classes are not mandatory and that their teachers can work in up to 18 different classroms each: if they test positive, a whole school may need to be blocked, all because of an optional teaching! Moving religion lessons online, outside the regular school schedule, would be a responsbile measure».
UAAR, while waiting for the day when the Catholic Religion Teaching is finally abolished, defends students and families who opt-out and fights for their right to a secular education and their freedom of conscience, against the discrimination still suffered today by children in the national school system; and therefore demands «a concrete commitment by the Education and the Health Ministries to guarantee the full right to education, the safety of stuedents, teachers and families, the separation of church and State, and the freedom of conscience of those who opt-out from religion classes».