Schools should be bishop-free

Goddy UK school punishes students for not attending mass at school.

Taylor High held its Patron Day Mass on Friday with Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Toal in attendance.

All pupils were told to be present as it also served as a memorial service for former members of staff who died earlier this year.

Some didn’t go, and they were punished with a week of lunchtime detentions.

One sixth year student believes it is unfair pupils who are not practicing Catholics should have to sit through mass. She said: “Although pupils are usually forced to go, there is not usually consequences for not being there and I believe it is unfair to have forced religious observance towards many pupils who may not be religious, me included.

She’s right. Education is one thing and religion is another, and religion should not be forced on anyone in a school, whether it’s public or private.

Acting head teacher Nicola Daley said: “Our entire school held its annual Patron’s Day Mass on Friday with Bishop Joseph Toal as its Principal Celebrant. “The theme for the celebration was Saint Teresa of Calcutta and highlighted her work with the poor. It was also a memorial service for two members of our staff who died in May after giving years of service to the school.

In other words it was extremely, gratingly Catholic. I don’t think Catholics should be forced to attend such an event, let alone non-Catholics. I don’t think anyone should.

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