Courts Are Allowing Discussions About Gender In Classrooms

In 2018, at least five state courts suspended municipal allows barring the subject in schools

Natália Cancian Reynaldo Turollo Jr.

The push to stop schools from discussing gender issues in the classroom- an integral part of a House bill called Nonpartisan Schools (in Portuguese, Escola sem Partido), one of president-elect Jair Bolsonaro flagship proposals for education -  is going through significant setbacks in state courts and the Brazilian Supreme Court.

In 2018 alone, at least five state courts (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Sergipe, and Amazonas) suspended municipal laws that barred discussing gender in classrooms.

The Supreme Court, in turn, issued two injunctions with similar requests, in response to lawsuits from the Brazilian Attorney General's office.

Then House representative Jair Bolsonaro, in his office, after a speech condemning some proposed materials for Brazilian classrooms, in 2011 - Folhapress

According to the injunction, barring specific content from the classroom is an unconstitutional act, because it goes against the principle of freedom to learn and to teach. The court also understood that only the federal government is allowed to regulate the general norms and rules of Brazilian education.

The state courts' decisions follow similar reasonings. Bolsonaro's policy education proposals don't mention the Nonpartisan Schools bill, but it is very closely aligned to the Nonpartisan Schools bill in progress in the Lower House, in Brasília.

"More math, sciences, and language, with no indoctrination or premature sexualization," says the policy proposal document.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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