The disciplinary action followed incidents involving a group of students from Christian Brothers College (CBC) for boys and Scoil Mhuire Secondary School for girls, both of which are located within yards of each other off Cork’s leafy Wellington Road.
The incidents involved a “kidnapping” and an egg attack.
School authorities became aware of the incidents and less than two weeks before Leaving Certificate exams start, deputy principal of CBC Tony McCarthy, with the approval of principal Dr Larry Jordan, wrote to the parents of all sixth year CBC students. The letter warned that any further misbehaviour “within the vicinity” of the school will bar students from sitting the Leaving Certificate and could result in an unfavourable reference for prospective future employers. In the absence of students signing an undertaking of good behaviour, the school said they should stay at home.
Mr McCarthy said that while at least three CBC students have not returned to school, the rest of the Leaving Cert class of 2009 are in school until Thursday. He defended the school’s stance and said it was no different to the approach they have taken over the last 10 years.
“The misbehaviour of a few cannot be allowed affect the concentration of the vast majority,” he said.
He said students in the final days of sixth year must adhere to the same rules they did in first year.
But some parents, though annoyed at their children’s misbehaviour, said they were furious with CBC bosses for what they called as a high-handed approach to discipline.
“It is just ridiculous,” said one angry parent.
“This could be the most important exam of my son’s life and all the school can offer him is a crude lesson in intolerance.”
The parent also claimed that the school had treated him and his wife with grave discourtesy.
“We only received notification of the expulsion two days after it occurred and it did not give any details of the incident. The least they could have done was pick up a phone and explain what was going on, considering we have had to strain for the past six years to pay school fees.”