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Ireland: Education Minister launches new policy to combat anti-gay and anti-trans bullying in schools

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  1. School – especially a religious school – is where anti-gay sentiment begins and where it MUST be tackled once and for all.

  2. Are gay teachers in cult school in Ireland still exempt from employment equality legislation?

    I know they were for a long time.

    Has that changed?

    1. David Jordan 13 Sep 2013, 4:39pm

      They still are, in fact the current government just recently voted down an opposition bill that would have extended anti-discrimination law to cover them.

      1. So effectively this means that teachers are being given guidelines on how to combat homophobic bullying, but they themselves may be fired if they come out as gay?

        I think extending non-discrimination laws to staff at church run institutions like schools and hospitals (which are state funded in the main) is essential.

    2. No, Steve, unfortunately not! Under Section 37 Catholic schools (most of which are public and government funded!) can refuse to employ/promote or dismiss any member of staff who they feel doesn’t comply with or threatens the ethos of the school. It makes it very stressful as naturally in the staffroom everyone is talking about their partners, familes and social lives : /

  3. David Jordan 13 Sep 2013, 4:48pm

    Is this will do is add a few extra lines to the bullying polices that already fail to protect children in Irish schools.
    90% of school’s in Ireland are controlled by the Roman Catholic Church and most have shown no real effort to protect children from homophobic bullying.
    Religious control of education is the elephant in the room and no straight politician here is willing to touch it with a ten foot barge pole.

  4. Perhaps Mr. Quinn TD can convince his FG government partners to abolish Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act….

    ““37(1) A religious, educational or medical institution which is under the direction or control of a body established for religious purposes or whose objectives include the
    provision of services in an environment which promotes certain religious values shall not be taken to discriminate against a person for the purposes of this Part or Part II if
    … (b) it takes action which is reasonably necessary to prevent an employee or a
    prospective employee from undermining the religious ethos of the institution.”

    Banana Republic Law :-(

    1. That’s an utter disgrace.

      These schools and hospitals are state funded.

      So the taxpayer is funding discrimination.

      1. Even if they’re not state funded, religious organisations – even in the UK – are still given massive tax breaks for being religious.

        So even the ones appearing not to be taxpayer funded are.

        Superstition is damaging and shouldn’t be encouraged.

  5. I went to a VEC and found that the staff were willing to discuss LGBT issues and often spoke out against homophobic language, we were a Catholic ethos school but publicly funded with only one religious representative on the board of management. Always thought that it was only private schools that could fire a staff member for being gay, also the reason that this problem hasn’t been resolved is because the equality commission and human rights commission are being merged. The government is planning on changing the legislation, although it should have been done a long time ago, also under the current legislation a person can be fired from a religious run institution for being divorced.

    1. Indeed, I hear you. Gone are the days of the “Letitia Dunbar-Harrison” or the “Fethard Boycott”. I have gay friends who are Primary School teachers who are self described as “Catholic”. All it takes is one letter from a Hard Core Catholic parent to the Bishop of the Diocese who gives the School his patronage, and one of my friends could be suspended from work.

      Although the likelihood is small, the following uproar would be probably international news, but the Bishop would be perfectly entitled under the law.

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