April 22, 2005


beano @ Everything Ulster

It's a pity my first reaction on reading this was "I wonder how long it will be for the death threats to start rolling in".

Andrew McCann


Me too!


I dont think that any form of poltical representation (ie the tricolour pins) should be allowed in schools and I sure do not believe that a teacher should be allowed by to say things like she did in response to them.

Its not a SF or IRA issue but rather the want for children to grow up and figure out whatever they believe in or follow. There is time enough for their heads to be sickened by all this political bullshit in NI but right now I would rather kids be kids and have them worry about getting their homework done.



it is a pity, but not for the reason you think

David Vance


And what reason do you offer?


I don't see anything wrong with teaching students about politics and the "democratic" processes, holding mock elections and the like. But the teacher should maintain a neutral role. There are ways to explore positive and negative aspects of political parties, politicians, etc. without attempting to influence children...or chastise them.
With that said, I don't think politics should be taught until the child has reached or is beyond the so-called "age of reason" when they are able to weigh pros and cons and begin to formulate their own conclusions. It sickens me when young children spew "political lines" or beliefs.

Young  Irelander

What a disgraceful teacher. This is pure xenophobia. It's a shame some people get so unsettled by the tricolour. If I saw someone wearing a union jack badge I wouldn't give a damn.



It's a pity that thinking, moderate unionists such as beano seem to assume that republicans cannot respond to criticism other than by means of threat. That's something for us all to work on. I too have fallen into the trap of expecting the worst of unionists. We need to stop doing that. I imagine you welcome such knee-jerk reaction.

I'm surprised, however, that you give this fillip for SF bandwidth. How to make the coming generation of new voters vote SF? - tell them teacher doesn't want them to.

In general though, the objection here cannot possibly be to the expression of the teacher's opinion, but to the intemperate language.

Madradin Ruad

If SF were so concerned about not dragging children into politics, what was all the nonsense in Fermanagh about ?
There they would rather children didn't get road safely lessons for purely political reasons.



But the teacher should maintain a neutral role. There are ways to explore positive and negative aspects of political parties, politicians, etc. without attempting to influence children...or chastise them.

What if the pupil wore a racist emblem?


Madradin - I agree with you. It was a total joke that SF did what they did in Fermanagh. In that instance the political will of a party was more important than the safety of pupils - it was one of the biggest loads of horse shit I heard in a long long time.


Murdering 2000 people wasn't too good either.


That's not what I was referring to really, Willowfield...with my reference to 'neutrality'. I just meant as far as "the curriculum" and the teaching about politics, political parties, etc., teachers should leave their own personal bias as far as political parties, candidates, etc. out of the equation as much as possible.
I think as Michael was getting at...where symbols are contentious...schools should be able to restrict students' dress. Racist symbols/emblems certainly should be restricted where they may be disruptive and hurtful...particularly in a school setting where young children are involved.
We start to head down the slippery slope of the so-called right to "free speech when we start to restrict their display. With that said, there's nothing wrong with going down that slope so long as we proceed with caution.
With this particular case, my first thought was that since this happened in a Catholic school, why would the tricolour pin be seen as so contentious as to cause this teacher to lash out in such a manner?
I took a course a few weeks ago in which we spent a lot of time on 'the use of power and influence' when dealing with children...there are positive ways and negative ways...this was the latter.


Awwwww, c'mon Mairin. The expectation here is just a little to 'p.c.' for my tastes. We can't call a spade a spade?

Possibly the language could have been better chosen. Maybe simply pointing out that they are terrorists would have been more palatable? 'Scum' just isn't very nice is it?

I'm shocked that the teacher hasn't been strung up (figuratively of course) at this point.

And thank you for the link Mairin. I can hardly wait to start building a zoo!


I have many close friends/family who have SF leanings now and know others who have always supported SF...and a few who made the mistake of getting involved with the IRA...they aren't all bad...and they're certainly not scum. It's PC to call them that and worse here on this board...but believe me, it doesn't bother them at all and, for the most part, makes them dig their heels in harder.
Different strokes for different folks...different experiences/different horrors shaped them than most folks who post here is all.
I asked a friend with leftist leanings about the zoo-tycoon software...the response was of course about "raising little capitalists". ;o)~


Oh - raising little capitalists? It's right up my alley then. :-)

As to your other comment I don't know anyone with sympathy to the IRA, but I have leftward leaning friends and relatives - and although I feel that leftists as a whole are scum, I don't feel that way about the people I know and love certainly. I see then as terribly misguided.


What would have been the reaction from those who support this teacher's behaviour if a few miles away in a protestant school a liberal minded teacher had berated 2 pupils for wearing union jack lapels as being supporters of 'stinking DUP bigots'.

It is perfectly acceptable for adults on the political hustings to make such intemperate remarks at political opponents , but I think it's unacceptable for a teacher to use such yobbish terminology to pupils however agreeable his 'IRA scum ' comment may be to to many people.


As far as the IRA--they should have been gone a long time ago. It used to be that nationalists were 'afraid' in many places to see them go and truly saw them as their sole protectors. That's changed now...or so I understand, based on a poll/article posted here (I think by MR).
Not everyone in SF actively supports the IRA. But I understand the point made that by voting for SF, they are at least passively supporting them. It's complicated...one could spend hours talking about it with SF supporters if one were so inclined. ;o)
In nationalist families, it is not uncommon to have SF leanings as well SDLP leanings...and of course a good many who couldn't be bothered to choose for a variety reasons. Nationalist political leanings are more fluid than one might guess.


"Its not a SF or IRA issue but rather the want for children to grow up and figure out whatever they believe in or follow."

Michael, could the same not be said about teaching religion to five year olds? It's one thing I admire the USA for - you can't teach religion in schools.

As for the teacher, I echo his views 100%. I see the usual republican rabble attacked the police (or the "PSNI" as Sinn Fein always call them) in Newry last night as they investigated the recent murder there. Petrol bombs were thrown, but no doubt it was a "spontaneous" demonstration of opposition to the police.

No doubt the SF (abstenionist) candidate for South Down - Catriona Ruane - will be quick to condemn the action ..... of the police in daring to investigate a murder in a republican estate.

Ultonian Scottis American

Why should the "tricolour" not be recognized for what it is: The symbol of the violent fascist Prod killers that have bedevilled NI politics for over thirty years.

In the Saorstat, people are attacked for merely wearing a poppy. If a student there wore a Nazi flag during WWII... oops, bad analogy.


Interesting point Peter. Should religion be taught in school? If you go to a school where those who own and run it are ministers or priests then I believe it is alright to teach religion as it is clear to all involved that it is going to happen. If you go to a Catholic school in the US they do teach religion. If it is a state school then I say no as the state has no right to promote one religion above and beyond any other.

Young  Irelander

Ultonian Scottis American,

That is some bullshit you're coming out with. I wager you've never been to my country. The Irish flag has a very honourable symbolic meaning and certainly is not about "prod killing".

"In the Saorstat, people are attacked for merely wearing a poppy."

Yeah, poppy assaults were at record levels last year! What a muppet.


"If it is a state school then I say no as the state has no right to promote one religion above and beyond any other."

Unless it is Islam - then it's okay.

Ultonian Scottis American


As regards the Poppy attacks by Irish irredentists, do you think I just made it up? Leaving aside the Enniskillen Massacre, here are some quotes:

"I have never worn it in Seanad √Čireann because I am aware that the same poppy has been perceived as a symbol of imperialism in the Republic."

"This is the reason why me and a lot of other nationalists dont wear a poppy cause its been hijacked by the loyalist scumbags above."

"In the 1940s and post-war period, the aggressive pickets on the Dublin Church mission and the attacks on poppy sellers."

"I couldn't go home with a poppy on though, as I'd probably be clobbered."

The same symbol has different meanings to different people. Buddhists and Native Americans look upon the swastika totally differently then Jews.

"The De Valera Government achieved an acceptable compromise : The Union Jack was prohibited ..."

The ROI tricolour should be flying at only one place in NI: The Consulate of the ROI.

Tell you what: At the next NYC St Patrick's Day Parade, you wear an orange shirt and wave a Union jack. I'll bring a stop-watch and time how long before you're assaulted.

Young  Irelander

Ultonian Scottis American,

You are basing your argument on the words of people on the net? One of the links you want me to go to is on Boards.ie for crying out loud! Another one of your quotes talks about the forties! Stand by your original remarks. You said in my country people are attacked for wearing a poppy. This is bullshit. As for the Irish tricolour, it's looked on as the flag of the Irish nation. The majority of people on this island subscribe to this nation and they have the right to fly it proudly anywhere on the island.

I'm perplexed at your last point. Why would I want to wear a foreign nation's colours on a day when I would be celebrating my own nation? Furthermore, your last point only goes to show AMERICAN intolerance. Wise up.

The comments to this entry are closed.