13 SES 02, Voluntary Exclusion and Diversity
Long Paper Session
Inclusion and exclusion are frequently seen as two opposite social processes: inclusion as something good and exclusion as something bad. However, voluntary exclusion of children from the system of public schools – which are, on the obligatory level, usually conceived as inclusive institutions opened to all – can be understood asa right of parents to choose private schools, therefore as something good rather than bad. This right is guaranteed by the international documents on human rights. Although it is not explicitly mentioned, it seems that this right follows from, or is at least closely connected with, their right to educate their children in accordance with their own religious or philosophical convictions. In this paper I am going to discuss the school choice as a human right in this context, that is, as the right of parents to choose religious private schools because of religious reasons. However, this does not mean either that they choose them only for this reason or that the right to choose private schools can be reduced only to this reason.
Critical reflection; methodology used in Philosophy of human rights (law) and applied political philosophy (as it is conceived by French philosopher A. Renaut).
If the right of parents to choose private schools follows from their right to educate children in conformity with the parents’ religious convictions, then parents’ freedom of choice is limited by their duty to respect their children’s freedom of religion. On the other hand, parents’ right to choose private schools is correlative to the duty of the state to refrain from imposing on them the obligation to send their children to public schools, as it was the case in some countries.
W. Kymlicka, “Two Models of Pluralism and Tolerance”, in: D. Heyd (ed.), Toleration. An Elusive Virtue, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1996. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UN 1966. Convention Against Discrimination in Education, UNESCO 1960. G. Haarscher, Philosophie des droits de l’homme, Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles, Bruxelles 1993. M. Rendel, Whose Human Rights?, Trentham Books, Oakhill 1997. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Codex Iuris Canonici). International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. J. Feinberg, Freedom and Fulfilment, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1994. J. G. Dwyer, Religious Schools v. Children’s Rights, Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London 2001. A. Swift, How Not to be a Hypocrite, Routledge, London and New York 2003. P. Meredith, Government, Schooling and the Law, Routledge, London 1992 C. L. Glenn, J. De Groof (eds.), Balancing freedom, autonomy and accountability in education, Wolf Legal, WLP, cop., Nijmegen 2012.
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