State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Issues relating to promoting a secular state education and raising children in a non-religious home
Beebub
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State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Post by Beebub » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:22 pm

No surprise here really

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 71032.html

Does anyone know Maurice Manning's (president of Irish Human Rights Commission) religious beliefs?

It looks as though the focus of these discussions are the 'religious class' or the portion of the day given over to religious instruction. But they don't seem to even realise that it infuses the entire day. My 6 year old is in a state primary school and religion genuinely seems on the down low. If we wanted to use the 'opt out' option, there'd be nowhere for him to gol he'd have to sit in the corridor.

However, they say a prayer at the start of the day, they say a prayer before lunch, would they put him the corridor for the 30 seconds it takes to say these prayers?

It's a nonsense. Even if proper facilities were made available to a school for the opt out clause to work, religion permeates the whole day, it would be paying lip service to it to remove him for a 30 minute relgion class!
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Re: State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Post by Marks » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:07 pm

I am not sure whether Jack Horgan-Jones was actually at the Conference or not. If he was then he probably found that he simply could not fit into one article all the issues that came up.

Ethos (the integrated curriculum) came up and was referred to by many speakers and not in a good way. Dr. Alison Mawhinney was really good and so was Dr. Eoin Daly and Prof Gerry Whyte. In fact I would say it was a very good conference. I learnt a lot.
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Re: State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Post by lostexpectation » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:38 pm

not that the gov ever listen to anything the ihrc say
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Re: State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Post by mkaobrih » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:18 pm

Marks wrote:I am not sure whether Jack Horgan-Jones was actually at the Conference or not. If he was then he probably found that he simply could not fit into one article all the issues that came up.

Ethos (the integrated curriculum) came up and was referred to by many speakers and not in a good way. Dr. Alison Mawhinney was really good and so was Dr. Eoin Daly and Prof Gerry Whyte. In fact I would say it was a very good conference. I learnt a lot.
+ 1 – The German guy at the start – I thought he spoke a lot of rubbish – fairly horrified at the Muslim guy – hope to god no non religious people ever end up in a Muslim school – everyone else was all about tolerance diversity and how best to move forward. Didn’t know that Educate Together have introduced teacher training – it was one excellent conference. I think all the papers are or will be online.
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Re: State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Post by Marks » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:15 pm

The Muslim speaker was a representative for Immam Hussein Halawa, Irish Council of Immams.

He said that having no faith was dangerous as morals of man depends on religious education.
He said that children should have knowledge about who created the universe.

He was also asked a question on second level schools and he answered that Muslim parents are very worried about their children staying chaste until marriage. As far as I could gather from his answer Muslims in Ireland object to boys and girls attending the same school and want segregated schools.
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Re: State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Post by Tulip1 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:24 am

He sounds like a very fundamentalist muslim.

What part of the world are most muslims in Ireland from?
Pope says atheists pick & choose their morals. Correct. Today I will be frowning on child abuse & not having a problem with homosexuality.
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Re: State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Post by Marks » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:50 am

I don't really know but he was at the Conference representing all Muslims in Ireland.

Fr. Michael Drumm spoke as well and he said that the Conference was very legalistic. I thought that was a strange thing to say since the purpose of the Conference was Religion, Education, a human rights perspective. As we well know there is no point in saying that someone has their human rights if there are no laws in place to protect those rights. There would be no point to the Conference if the Conference did not examine the Constitution and the laws on education in the state.

He also stated that it was offensive to say that Catholics are indoctrinating in schools. When we state that they are indoctrinating it offends them because it is against their religion to indoctrinate.

The problem with the word indoctrinate is that their standard of the right to freedom of conscience or freedom of religion as they call it is different than the human right to freedom of conscience. They do not see the integrated curriculum as indoctrination or coercion. Neither do the Irish State for that matter.

When we say that Catholic schools are indoctrinating we are using the standard of the UN not the standard of the Catholic church. We know that the UN accept that the integrated curriculum breaches the right to freedom of conscience of those parents seeking a secular education for their children because the UN have already said that it does.

I am not sure we can avoid using the word indoctrinate or coercion when speaking about the integrated curriculum or for that matter trying to opt out of religious instruction. The Catholic Church has already stated that parents cannot opt their children out of religious instruction in some schools but they blame that situation on the State for failing to give them enough funding. Nothing is ever their fault.
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Re: State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Post by Tulip1 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:30 pm

The state is not in a good position to do anything till they take control away from the churches and take responcibility over education. At the moment they just pass the blame on.

We cannot expect the church to take that responsibility, since their interest is not to give the best education but to give religious instruction.
Pope says atheists pick & choose their morals. Correct. Today I will be frowning on child abuse & not having a problem with homosexuality.
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Re: State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Post by aZerogodist » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:32 pm

Religion in schools 'a breach of children's human rights'
By Katherine Donnelly
Monday November 29 2010

THE central role of religion in the overwhelming majority of Irish schools may be a breach of the human rights of some children.
And allowing pupils from minority faiths or none to opt out of religious instruction may not be enough to rectify the situation because the Catholic Church's ethos permeates the day-to-day life of most schools, a discussion paper has said.
The Government has been told it is time to address what place, if any, religion has in the classroom.
Ireland's record on religion in schools will come under scrutiny next year during a review by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHCR) issued a discussion paper over the weekend, posing a number of questions as to whether the law and practice in Ireland fully meets human rights standards.
"To put it somewhat baldly, the core issue to be discussed concerns whether religion has a place in the classroom and, if so, what role should it play," IHCR president Maurice Manning said.
He said the Irish position faced challenges under the European Convention on Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The questions raised by the discussion paper included the rights of children in a rural setting who have no option but to attend a religious-ethos school.
At primary level, Catholic schools are required to devote two-and-a-half hours per week to religious instruction, while it is two hours per week at secondary level.
In the multi-denominational Educate Together schools, the issue of religious instruction is regarded as a matter for parents and, where it takes place, it is done outside of school hours.
Pupils may take Religious Education as a subject in Junior and Leaving Cert exams, but that involves a general study of world religions and beliefs and does not involve an assessment of a student's personal faith or commitment.
Conflicts
The IHCR paper notes that provision is made for the right of parents to withdraw their children from any instruction that conflicts with their own convictions.
However, because of the way that religion might informally permeate the school day in denominational schools, this right would not necessarily insulate such pupils from receiving religious education informally, it stated.
Dr Manning said the place of religion in the classroom was an issue with which all countries were grappling, but Ireland was somewhat unique internationally because religious orders had played a very prominent role in Irish education.
Ireland has a system of almost entirely denominational primary education, predominantly controlled by the Catholic Church, which runs about 92pc of primary schools. There are no non-denominational schools, and just over 2pc of schools are inter-denominational or multi-denominational.
While most people in Ireland define themselves as belonging to the Roman Catholic Church or Church of Ireland, a significant number now define themselves as being of no belief or of Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu or other belief.
The paper was launched at a conference held in association with the School of Law at Trinity College Dublin, which kick-started a national consultation process.
Dr Manning said after the consultation process was complete, at the end of January, they would make recommendations to the Government on the measures required for the State to meet its human rights obligations in this area.
- Katherine Donnelly
Irish Independent
Why don’t we just sue a school and the Dep. of Education for stress & hardship & discrimination caused to a parent and their child?
Irish Times: when the family objects to the fact that religious instruction is occurring in the school contrary to the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion of the child/family.
If the gov just passes the blame on, one thing they understand is money, if one case was successful, then that would lead to many more. If there is a legal avenue and someone willing to do it with the backing of AI, (or the AI on behalf of a parent) I have no problem throwing in €500 into the pot towards costs.
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Beebub
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Re: State may breach rights over religious class opt-out

Post by Beebub » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:50 pm

aZerogodist wrote:If there is a legal avenue and someone willing to do it with the backing of AI, (or the AI on behalf of a parent)
This is why I think it will take a very long time to sort out and is the reason why nothing has really been done in this area up to now. Personally, I have one child in primary school and more to follow. He's in his 2nd year and we haven't opted him out. Firstly there's no point because religion infuses the whole curriculum, so to remove him from the relgious instrcution bit would be nothing more than an idle gesture. I'd happily make a stand if it was just me, even if it was an idle gesture, but I have the overall well being of my kid to think about.

So far, it has not registered with him at all. he won't be making his communion and I think if more non-practicing parents did this thingsa would change sooner. There would have to be a real alternative if 10 out of 60 opted out of communion rather than 2.

So, to take a case like this on board, I'd have to put by 6 year old through it. When I weigh up the damage relgious instruction will do to him when he can get what we believe at home and hear a different view, compared to the potential damage, putting a 6 year old through a court case, I choose for him to sit through religion. I'm not suggesting that the child will have to attend the court, I'm saying that the child will be at the centre of it. The school and the teachers will know he's at the centre of it and I don't think that's fair to him and I suspect many parents would feel the same as I do. The more so that so far relgion has had little or no impact on him whatever.
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