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Twelve secondary school teachers from a community on the outskirts of Barcelona have been cited to give explanations to police, following complaints which have led the Civil Guard to investigate a possible hate crime. The teachers, from the El Palau secondary school in the town of Sant Andreu de la Barca, will be required to talk to the paramilitary police in January, after alleged comments made by some teachers at the centre relating to the police repression of the Catalan referendum on October 1st. The comments were supposedly made to pupils who are the children of members of the Civil Guard itself, which has a barracks close to the school. 

According to sources quoted by Europa Press, it is expected that the teachers will give their version of events between January 4th and 10th to clarify whether any of them could have commited a hate crime; it is the Civil Guard which, in the first instance, will investigate the case in its role as the judicial police force. If it is considered that there is a case to answer, the Spanish Public Prosecutor's Office will then lay a complaint to bring the case before a judge.

Following the police actions on 1st October, some pupils were upset by comments made by a number of teachers, and a total of 18 families went to the local Town Council to express their annoyance.

The mayor of Sant Andreu de la Barca, Enric Llorca, then called a meeting on October 9th with local officials of the Catalan Ministry of Education and the families who had complained about the treatment received by the students whose parents were in the Civil Guard.


The meeting was preceded on the morning of October 5th by a demonstration of some 200 pupils at the school gates, asking for respect for their fellow students, the children of Civil Guard officers, a protest which caused considerable commotion. Graffiti also appeared on the walls of the school with slogans in favour of the Civil Guard as well as lines such as "Stop indoctrination'.

In addition, Europa Press quotes sources saying that on October 5th, three members of the Civil Guard, one of them a member of the school's parents association, entered the centre in civilian clothes and spoke to the headmaster, a senior teacher, and an Education Ministry inspector to understand the situation.

"Perfect social harmony"

In a statement published on the high school's website, the teaching staff have declared that "they have always worked hard to ensure perfect social harmony in their educational community".

"We affirm our deepest rejection of some of the news published in recent days by the media questioning the professionalism of the teachers in the centre: the social harmony in the centre always has been and always will be guaranteed", added the teaching team.