The principal of Coláiste Eoin, the school at which a workshop on homophobic bullying did not go ahead this week, has said some parents were worried their child would be “singled out” by other pupils if they did not attend.
Finín Máirtín said it was on that basis that it decided to postpone the workshop adding that “there were probably six or seven parents involved”.
Transition year students at the Dublin secondary school were due to given the talk by the group Shout Out on Wednesday morning. However, Shoutout said it was told at the last minute that the even was not going ahead. It said it was told that the board of the school and the parents believed “the other side needed to be heard”.
In an interview last night on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Mr Máirtín said the school’s mistake was sending out notice of the workshop too late.
“The problem here is that, when we informed ShoutOut that it was postponed, ShoutOut posted to their website around lunchtime that it had been cancelled.
“That is where this controversy has sprung from, and we are very upset about it.
“Some parents were worries that if their sons weren’t attending the workshops, that they would be singled out by other pupils and that that would upset them.
“On that basis, we decided to postpone the workshop... there were probably six or seven parents involved. Only two thirds of the year had received notice of the workshop as well, that was as a result of a mistake on our part.”
Mr Máirtín said the decision was made in collaboration with the board of Management, “to be sure that no student felt they were being singled out because they weren’t attending the workshop”.
Asked about reports the school had said the workshop was cancelled because students needed to hear both sides of the story, he said: “If you are talking about an anti-homophobic bullying workshop, there are no two sides, but if you are talking about a group coming in to talk about LGBT matters, and this is where the difficulty arises, there are different opinions on that, and that is what came into play here.
“There are no two perspectives on homophobic bullying.”
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