LGBTQ+ teaching in Polish schools to be non-existent under new legislation

Cazrnek’s Law gives local supervisors the right to censor teaching materials given to schools by external groups, and sack staff members who are not compliant.

Przemyslaw Czarnek in Polish parliament as they approve the enactment of a law which will allow officials to ban LGBTQ+ teaching in schools.
Image: Twitter: @CzarnekP

On Thursday, January 13, the Polish parliament approved a new law that will allow regional supervisors to ban LGBTQ+ inclusive teaching in classrooms. The educational reform was adopted into law after being debated the previous day in Poland’s lower house of parliament, the Sejm.

Named after the minister of education, Przemyslaw Czarnek, ‘Czarnek’s Law’ or ‘Lex Czarnek’ echoes a similar function to that of laws enacted in countries such as Hungary and Russia. While not specifically anti-LGBTQ+, it will serve as a way to ban queer themes in schools, and censor teaching under the guise of being anti-propaganda.

The new legislation gives superintendents the right to overrule any teaching resources that are given to schools from external parties, while also granting them the power to sack any staff member who does not comply with their recommendations. Czarnek, known for his conservative views, declared that this would include anything seen as “a threat to the morality of children”.

Activists have expressed concern over the Polish legislative amendment, seeing it as a way to ban teaching on LGBTQ+ topics altogether.

Rémy Bonny, executive director of Forbidden Colours, an EU-wide support fund for LGBTQ+ organisations, stated: “After years of rhetorical campaigns against the LGBTIQ+ community, the Polish government has officially joined Russia and Hungary in legally scapegoating the LGBTIQ+ community as a way of dismantling democracy and human rights.”

He continued by saying, “Children are the next victim in Poland’s war on inclusion and democracy.”

Bonny also called upon other EU member states to put diplomatic pressure on the Polish government, who he claims are bullying the country’s children.

The move comes just six months after the EU announced it would be taking legal action against Hungary and Poland over their anti-LGBTQ+ actions. A statement at the time from the European Commission stated: “Europe will never allow parts of our society to be stigmatised”.

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