Discrimination against parents in schools must end

Discrimination against parents in schools must end –

One Family calls for a national policy

Media Release, 26 July 2012

Following the exclusion of a young mother from secondary school in Tipperary, the negative findings of the Ombudsman for Children in this matter and the unrepentant response from the former principal involved, One Family calls on Minister Quinn to provide a national policy on school age parents.

One Family Director Karen Kiernan explained: “It is extremely unfortunate that 40 years after the establishment of our organisation, Irish society is still being shocked by the discriminatory and judgmental actions of a minority. It is time that publically funded schools are no longer permitted to practice such damaging discrimination and we call for a national policy on young parents and post-primary education. Research indicates that young parents can become distanced from education more easily than other young people. This can then negatively impact on their ability to provide an adequate income for their family in the future.”

Kiernan continued: “Without knowledge or reference to any particular case, young people can become pregnant in a number of ways and not always consensually or with their full knowledge. An awareness of the sensitivity of young people’s sexuality, practices, crisis pregnancy and needs as parents are required by schools and teachers in order to support all students.

“Whilst we welcome the fact that the Minister does not support the actions of the principal involved in the Tipperary case, it is time to ensure this cannot happen again to another young parent.”

One Family works to support women and couples through unplanned and crisis pregnancies; we provide specialist parenting supports for people parenting alone and sharing parenting of their children; we support lone parents into education, training and employment; we provide a national helpline to one-parent families. More at www.onefamily.ie


Contact: Karen Kiernan, Director, One Family.   T: 01 662 9212             M: 086 850 9191