Spain Protects Religion Teachers’ Rights In Public Schools

Spain’s highest court has ruled that religious education teachers in public schools cannot be fired for failing to follow the Roman Catholic Church’s rules on marriage.

The case was brought by Resurreccion Galera, a religious education teacher who was fired from a public school in a southeastern Spanish town in 2001 after she married a divorced man.

“We have been informed that you are living with a married man,” church officials in Almeria told Galera. “That is an unsustainable situation.”

Spain’s Constitutional Court overturned two lower court rulings and declared that Galera’s living arrangements had “no relation to the plaintiff’s work as a teacher,” reported the British newspaper The Guardian.

The Catholic Church controls hiring of religion teachers in the country’s public schools. The classes are optional, but about 70 percent of families send their children to them.