Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 06/02/2015. Tags: Education And Politics Parenting Teachers
It has been reported in the media today that a primary school in Limerick had to apologise to a Muslim pupil after a copy of the controversial ‘Charlie Hebdo magazine’ which depicts an image of Mohammed, was produced in their classroom.
The mother of a 11 year old child in fifth class of the multi denominational school, Limerick School Project in the city, told the Limerick Leader
that she was outraged over the incident.
The mother, who is of muslim faith and has four kids in the school, commented:
“Each child was told to read it and look at a picture that depicted the prophet Mohammad. This picture has cause great insult within the Islamic community in Ireland and the world,” she told the Limerick Leader newspaper.
“My son is not the only child within the class that is Muslim and when he explained to the teacher that this such picture was offensive to him and his religion the teacher told him that ‘it was part of his lesson’,” she claimed.
“Ireland in 2015 has become more multi-cultural than ever and we as parents teach our children every day to be respectful of other people and their cultures as well as their religion. How are we supposed to achieve this respect with in our country if our educators are not mindful of the different cultures and religion in our classrooms,” said the mother, who does not wish to be identified.
The Limerick Leader
reports that the school’s chairman, Richard Allen, said this was an “unfortunate incident” and said apologies for any offence caused were made to both the boy and his mother. He explained that a pupil in the class had brought in the Charlie Hebdo magazine, and not the teacher, while they were having a discussion about the French Revolution and freedom of speech.
Mr Allen said the class had earlier seen some of the coverage of the terrorist attacks in Paris, and on the offices of the satirical magazine, which killed 12 people, on the children’s news programme on RTE, called News 2Day, and said they regularly discuss news events.
Mr Allen said they “respect all religions and none” in the school, and “would never set out to cause offence to anybody”.
Nonetheless, Mr Allen said the multi-denominational school, which has over 200 pupils, believes in the right to freedom of speech, though at the same time it recognises that responsibilities come with this freedom.’