Turtles all the way down

Irish atheist pupil who was forced to pray claims human rights violation

Posted by doctore0 on October 23, 2012

Ireland I wasn’t expecting this… after all the rape, child abuse

A young Irish atheist has made an official complaint after his school forced him to attend a multi-denominational prayer service. 16-year-old Nathan Young has complained to the Irish Human Rights Commission that his vocational education committee (VEC) school breached his human rights.

Nathan is a student at Borrisokane community college in Tipperary. He has demanded that the school principal apologise and promise not to make religious events mandatory for students in the future. VEC schools refer to themselves as multi-denominational or non-denominational.

Nathan told the Irish Sunday Times that he will continue to attend the school because he thought students were “free from others forcing their ideas upon them.” He said he could not understand how the community college could allow “religion to call a halt to normal school activity, with full support from the staff.”

The report says that Young had asked his class tutor on Tuesday if he could opt out of the prayer service in the school’s canteen and the teacher relayed his request to principal Matthew Carr. The paper says that Young was later informed by his tutor that the principal had said “everyone has to attend.”

He was refused permission to leave the service by the acting deputy vice-principal who told him it was a ‘multi-denominational event for all religions’. Young disputes a claim by one of the religion teachers who wrote the service’s programme that it was for ‘Christians or atheists or agnostics or whatever’. He claims God was mentioned 28 times and Jesus six through-out the service, which included three hymns, two Bible readings and references to baptism and the Eucharistic Congress.
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