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During a recent post about the difficulties encountered by parents seeking a non-denominational school in Ireland to send their children.Bingo wrote:

It’s going to be tough decisions to be made in terms of choosing between the Catholic School next door that all your child’s friends are going to but which you don’t want to send them to because of your beliefs and the difficult to gain entry to Secular School 8 miles away…

To which ‘Teal’, a parent, has responded:

We made the ‘tough decision’ 4 weeks ago when our son’s two closest friends since birth went, respectively, to a Protestant primary school and a Catholic primary school.

Never mind that all three children are four years old (that is SO young to be going to school!) but my son was number 63 on the waiting list for our local Educate Together school. We had nowhere to send him, so he is being educated at home, for now.

I am not religious and it seemed hypocritical for me and my non-Catholic Irish partner to send our kid(s) to a Catholic school. While I am not a die-hard atheist, I am not a Catholic.

It makes as much sense for me to send my children to a Catholic school as it would for most of you to send your kids to a Muslim school. It wouldn’t do your kids any harm, but would it make sense if you never intended to practice the faith?

I was born and raised in Canada where freedom of conscience and religion is enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and where “no religious dogma or creed” can be taught in schools. It’s been this way for over 40 years.

I am also an Irish citizen and my partner and children were born in this country. Is the message that I should go back to where I came from if I don’t want my kids to go to a Catholic school?

I’ve lived here for 15 years and am quite shocked that anyone would see that as a solution to this dilemma. For those that don’t, thank you for thinking outside the box and for showing that your Catholic education did not shape you into a small minded bigot.

 

Previously: Finding A Non-Catholic School
(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)