In 2017, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party began publicly threatening teachers with so-called “reporting platforms” on which students and parents were to point out their alleged “non-compliance(s)” with a supposed “school neutrality requirement.” Organizations involved in extracurricular political education are also increasingly facing accusations that their work against racism, right-wing extremism and other forms of group-based hostility to humanity violates such a requirement. Particularly in the case of public funding, some exemplary questions arise for organizations in the face of such a threat:

“What topics can we address with our events? And which not? What is this “neutrality requirement” all about? Is this a legal “muzzle” on political education? How much political neutrality do these carriers have to impose on themselves?”

Questions that the organizers of the Network Tolerant Saxony and the Democracy Center Saxony formulate in their accompanying text of the lecture recommended here“Das Neutralitätsgebot – Ein rechtlicher Maulkorb für die politische Bildung?” from December 2018. The lawyer Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Hufen will try to answer these questions as generally and practically as possible in about 45 minutes.

The lecture was made freely available on the Audio Portal Freier Radios.

We would also like to point out an analysis published by the German Institute for Human Rights in August 2019. “The Neutrality Imperative in Education. Neutral Toward Racist and Far-Right Party Positions?” by Hendrik Cremer also deals on 40 pages with the question of the significance of human rights and the state’s neutrality requirement when “teachers in the classroom or actors in extracurricular political education address racist or right-wing extremist positions of a party?”

The handout can be ordered or downloaded free of charge at this link .


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