Poland: MPs back controlling schools to stop ‘threats to children’s morals’

The Polish government came close to taking control of the schools after Parliament approved a new bill.

Under the proposed legislation, extracurricular activities run by NGOs in schools would need the approval of a government-appointed supervisor.

The ruling conservative Law and Justice party says the law is necessary to protect children while they are educating.

But opponents have expressed concern that the legislation could limit LGBT+ education and reproductive rights.

The so-called Czarnek law – named after Poland’s education minister – was approved Thursday by 227 lawmakers in the lower house, while 214 voted against it.

The law will now move to the upper house of Poland’s parliament – the upper house – where opposition parties hold a majority.

Przemyslav Czarnik said the government should be able to ban any educational program that represents a “threat to children’s morals”.

But opposition MPs expressed their anger at the approval of the law by the Polish parliament.

“Instead of saving Polish children from depression on the one hand and extreme poverty on the other, Minister Czarnik is politicizing Polish schools,” said Polish left-wing MP Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk. on Twitter.

Since 2015, PiS has introduced a series of educational reforms based on traditional Christian values.

If the bill is rejected by the Polish Senate, it will go back to the lower house to vote on it again before President Andrzej Duda signs it into law.

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