Teenage girl refused place at school following pregnancy

Issues relating to promoting a secular state education and raising children in a non-religious home
mkaobrih
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Teenage girl refused place at school following pregnancy

Post by mkaobrih » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:13 pm

http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0430/teenag ... nancy.html
A school has been asked to apologise to a teenager who was refused a place on the grounds that the school "was not a haven for young pregnant people or for young mothers".

The girl applied twice to the lay-owned Catholic-ethos school - first in September 2009 when she was pregnant at 16 and again the following year after her baby was born.

However, she was turned down by the principal, who is also the school's owner, founder and patron.

According to the report by the Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan - which includes school correspondence to the family - the child was denied a place at the school on the first occasion because she was pregnant and on the second because she was a single mother.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms Logan said that there is currently no enrolment legislation that would prevent a school from acting in this way.

However Ms Logan said that the spirit of that Education Act is about accessibility and access, and that the principal was not operated in adherence with that.

Ms Logan found that the school's actions adversely affected the girl in question, were improperly discriminatory, were based on undesirable administrative practice and were contrary to fair and sound administration.

The Ombudsman said that the Department of Education has taken the response to her recommendations very seriously, and says that the absence of legislation dealing with enrolment is being addressed.

"I have made four recommendations, three of which are being acted upon by the Department of Education. The first is that they have committed to, and I understand that legislation will be drafted later this year, in relation to enrolment," Ms Logan said.

The Ombudsman also requested that the school apologise to the child in question.

"I believe that this person [the principal] has mistreated this girl and insensitively treated her and her family and it is my view that at the very least, the girl should be apologised to. They have not apologised. I am concerned about a persistent and defiant attitude and I will pursue that locally," Ms Logan said.

Ms Logan said that what had occurred in this school was highly unusual, and was not representative of attitudes in schools more broadly.

"It’s very unusual. In the eight years of the operation of my office it is highly unusual that anyone would meet our recommendations with this kind of hostility.

"However the recommendations are not binding. The best power that I have in terms of my mandatory powers, is to go to the Department of Education and request that they would carry out an inspection, that they would look at legislative and policy guidance for schools and they have committed to doing that."
this ethos rubbish is just another word for discrimination - social and religious. I hope she sues the patron/principal/owner who ever that is.
The church complains of persecution when it's not allowed to persecute.
paolovf
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Re: Teenage girl refused place at school following pregnancy

Post by paolovf » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:14 pm

mkaobrih wrote:this ethos rubbish is just another word for discrimination - social and religious. I hope she sues the patron/principal/owner who ever that is.
I agree.

I hope they make an example of him (the principal). This sort of activity must not be tolerated. It is said in the article that this is an extraordinary incident, and I'm sure most schools wouldn't have taken this action, but I'm sure there's still a certain amount of discrimination going on.
Beebub
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Re: Teenage girl refused place at school following pregnancy

Post by Beebub » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:42 pm

I can't get the link to Justine McCarthy's piece on this in yesterday's Sunday Times. But she quoted the mother or the child herself as saying that the prinicipal questioned the motivation of the girl wanting to go to this particular shool because it is co-educational asking if the fact that there were males at the school was influenceing her decison to apply to that school in particular. I'm paraphrasing. Extraordinarily, he put this sentiment in writing to them.

He also said in his letter to them the old chesnut 'This is a Catholic school'.
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Re: Teenage girl refused place at school following pregnancy

Post by paolovf » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:48 pm

I just went back to read the comments in that article, there are quite few. There are a lot more people condoning the actions of the Principal than I would have thought. There are some seriously appalling attitudes towards this story.

I've recently watched a Channel4 series called 'Educating Essex'. The attitude (or ethos) of this school is to give every child a chance and to do everything they can to get every single child to leave with some form of qualification. Each episode follows a teenager with a different challenge; one episode follows a girl who becomes pregnant. The way they deal with her is like night and day compared to the RTE story. She is given a lot of support and information and ends up passing her exams and goes to university.
chemicals
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Re: Teenage girl refused place at school following pregnancy

Post by chemicals » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:23 pm

the school's owner, founder and patron.
is it a private fee paying school ? does the state pay the teachers wages ?
والقس هو مجنون
Dev
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Re: Teenage girl refused place at school following pregnancy

Post by Dev » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:25 pm

Poor girl, she should be given a pat on the back for at least trying to go back to school.

Whats interesting about this is how overtly the principal was in giving his reasons and in writing. Usually such discrimination is silent when one is in such a position of accountability.
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Re: Teenage girl refused place at school following pregnancy

Post by Puck » Tue May 01, 2012 5:33 am

Dev wrote:Whats interesting about this is how overtly the principal was in giving his reasons and in writing. Usually such discrimination is silent when one is in such a position of accountability.
Why should the principal be? The school has a clear ethos and, the student obviously doesn't respect it. How long would anyone last in any Christian school, wearing a t-shirt printed with "There Is No God" or "Jesus was Gay" or similar. It's accepted today in Irish society that Catholic priests can be silenced if they promote an ethos which is outside of Roman Catholic doctrine. So what chance has a young, single mother to be respected by school authorities. When you attend a religious school, you must accept or respect their ethos, even if you don't agree.

Don't get me wrong, I think what has happened is appalling, but while Ireland forces all schools to have a religious ethos(correct me if there are any non-domination schools?), this sort of shameful discrimination will continue. It's only when cases like this hit the front page of the newspapers, does the general public stop for 30 seconds to consider the statues quo.

What I would like know is what support does the Education Department provide the young mother, to ensure that she could continue her education?
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Re: Teenage girl refused place at school following pregnancy

Post by Beebub » Tue May 01, 2012 9:57 am

Found the quote. The principal questioned the girls motivation for changing schools and asked, in writing:
Was there a male dimension to this?
Asshole.
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Re: Teenage girl refused place at school following pregnancy

Post by Puck » Tue May 01, 2012 9:58 am

Was there a male dimension to this?
No, it was a virgin birth.
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