Archive for April 23rd, 2005

Such, Such Were the Joys

Andrew McCann at A Tangled Web praises the Limavady teacher who allegedly referred to Sinn Fein as full of ‘IRA scum’.

The across-the-barricades SF parliamentary candidate for the area, Billy Leonard, displayed the measured language for which SF have become famed in response:

“This is like something out of a George Orwell novel. It is an attempt at brain washing of the most frightening kind.
“I have already left messages with the chairman of the board of governors to meet with myself and Brenda Chivers immediately to address this issue.”

Hollow laughs aside at SF complaints about brainwashing, or citing George Orwell, it ill befits any political representative to circumvent the authority of the school principal and staff in order to pry into either the day-to-day running of a school or what was said or not in the dynamic of a classroom.

The tactic of informing the press to say that you are contacting ‘as many of the pupils’ parents as [you can] ’, in order to ‘establish the facts’ may work well when compiling a list of grievances against the PSNI, but it undermines the school’s authority. The message sent out to parents is that the school is incapable of managing the issue to the best interests of the students. If Leonard and his colleague truly had the best interests of the students at heart, they would leave this matter well alone.

On the matter of whether or not the children should have been allowed to wear tricolours: if there is a school uniform, no additions to the school uniform should be tolerated, regardless of how noble the wearer believes them to be.

As to the opinion expressed by the teacher in question: the fact that the students had already chosen to come to school wearing tricolours indicates that it was in their best interests to hear an alternative opinion. If this was expressed in intemperate language, that is unfortunate, but not a matter of such importance that the national media had to get involved.

Perhaps I’m not the best person to comment on this. As some teachers in my school openly criticised the IRA, perhaps I’ve been brainwashed too.

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