School halted workshop on homophobic bullying 'after objections from parents'

School halted workshop on homophobic bullying 'after objections from parents'
Coláiste Eoin in Stillorgan.

The school which attracted controversy yesterday after calling off a workshop on homophobic bullying have today issued a statement.

Voluntary organisation ShoutOut was due to hold the free workshop at the secondary school, Coláiste Eoin in Stillorgan, before being told shortly before the scheduled start time that that the event would not go ahead.

The group was told that “both sides had to be represented”.

In a statement today, the school said that the decision was made after it received letters from a number of parents about the workshop.

“The Board of Management have received written communications from a number of parents outlining their concerns regarding the workshop,” the statement read.

“In this context it was incumbent on the Board to address all issues and seek the advice available from Catholic management representative bodies available to secondary schools.

“It was at all times made cleat to Shout Out that the scheduled workshop was not being cancelled and it is incorrect on their part to suggest otherwise.”

School halted workshop on homophobic bullying 'after objections from parents'

Hat-tip: Broadsheet.ie

The statement went on to insist that the group will be permitted to present the workshop “at a future date”, before ending the statement by saying: “Coláiste Eoin is a Catholic school and as such endevours to promote a caring, tolerant and inclusive school community.”

Transition year students at the school are holding a protest later to voice their anger at the decision.

Eoin O'Liatháin from ShoutOut said that there is no political aspect to the workshop.

“We are not going in talking about the marriage referendum or anything political or anything religious,” he said.

“It’s simply ‘let’s have a chat, an open space, how can we make the school a more supportive place?’.

“I don’t see what another side could be to trying to stop bullying in that instance – it doesn’t make sense to me.”

Earlier today, Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan said that she is disappointed that a school on Dublin's southside called off a workshop on homophobic bullying.

Minister O'Sullivan said that there are no “sides” when it comes to homophobic bullying.

“I would certainly hope that the school will examine its policies and will make sure that it is in accordance with national policy, and indeed with the policy of my national department in relation to stamping out bullying of any kind in schools, and that absolutely includes homophobic bullying,” she said.


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