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Clondalkin student leader threatened with expulsion over walkout

category national | education | other press author Thursday December 09, 2010 01:54author by LMauthor email stopfees at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Approx 100 students from two secondary schools in Clondalkin (Coláiste Bríde and Moyle Park College) took part in a walk out on budget day against the cut backs in education and increased college fees.

The students gathered in front of the office of John Curran TD in Clondalkin village and got a lot of support from passing cars and pedestrians.

Since then, Shane Donnelly, one of the leaders of the walk out has been suspended from school pending a board of management meeting later this week which will discuss and decide on his expulsion.

More info can be found at: http://free-education.info/clondalkin-student-leader-th...kout/

Related Link: http://free-education.info/
author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Dec 10, 2010 20:28Report this post to the editors

Hi !
The Maire Drumm / Kevin Barry Cumann of Republican Sinn Féin in Clondalkin sent the following email to Mr Aiden Clarke , Moyle Park College , on Thursday, 9th December 2010 :


Mr Clarke ,
A Chara,

I write in connection with the threatened expulsion of one of your students , Shane Donnelly, for allegedly being one of the "leaders" of a recent student protest in Clondalkin.
The protest that Shane and others were involved in was an entirely warranted action and one which, in our opinion , should be held on a regular basis at that venue ie outside the Clondalkin office of John Curran , Fianna Fail , a venue which we ourselves protested outside on many an occasion in support of Clondalkin CDP's , JI and CE workers.

Not only is Mr Curran and his fellow wealthy career political colleagues 'guilty as charged' by those Clondalkin students , but he and his political colleagues are guilty , too , of attempting to condemn Shane Donnelly and tens of thousands of students like Shane , to a future working life at €7.65 an hour . The students are right to protest against any Leinster House administration which seeks to belittle them in that manner.
The real shame in this episode , Mr Clarke , is that you and the other staff members did not join-in the protest. The students have not "wrecked the school’s reputation" , as you have stated , Sir - rather they have enhanced it by their action.
They have our full support.

Slan go fóill ,
John Horan (PRO),
Maire Drumm / Kevin Barry Cumann ,
Republican Sinn Féin ,
Clondalkin,
Dublin 22.


It was heart-warming to see this protest on the streets of Clondalkin , and I hope it is a measure of things to come. Great to see that these young people have some 'fighting spirit' in them.
Well Done to you all!
Thanks,
Sharon.

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Audio Listenerpublication date Fri Dec 10, 2010 13:25Report this post to the editors

Starts about 15 minutes into the programme.


Joe Duffy Show

author by Friend of Shanepublication date Fri Dec 10, 2010 00:30Report this post to the editors

I just thought I would share this with anyone interested and I would encourage everyone to contact the school and object to this action.

Dear Mr Clarke

I am writing to protest at the suspension and threatened expulsion of one of your students, Shane Donnelly, for participating in a protest against the budget cuts this week. I understand that he was among a group of students, numbering some one hundred, who left school to protest at the offices of John Curran TD.

I am surprised that you, as principal, have adopted this approach. I am a teacher of CSPE and SPHE. I have constantly encouraged my students to participate in the civic life of their community and discuss current affairs. Furthermore, it must be remembered that these school students will become the adults that we, as elderly people, will become dependent on. In SPHE class I have always attempted to encourage students to build their self-esteem, to stand up for their beliefs and to respect others when they stand up for theirs. In my opinion Shane Donnelly and his fellow students have demonstrated everything that I feel, we as teachers should be encouraging – developing an understanding of politics, standing up for your beliefs and supporting your fellow students and your community.

As I was writing this letter I had a look at your website. I noticed the ‘Student Showcase’ page and my eye was drawn to a student named James White. In the photo of James on the website he is holding a placard with the slogan ‘Stop Fianna Fail closing our children’s hospital’. The student showcase of James goes on to outline his interest in politics, his decision to join a political party and his desire to help his fellow students and his community. Can I ask how James White is celebrated with a page on your school website yet Shane Donnelly, for having the same courage of convictions, is being threatened with expulsion.

May I further address your school rules –

Under Expulsion Policy your school states that “Expulsion should be resorted to only in the most extreme cases of misbehaviour and indiscipline and in most cases after every effort at rehabilitation has failed and every other sanction has been exhausted”

Furthermore the rules outline the basis on which an expulsion can be proceeded with.
(a) The student is so disruptive that he is seriously preventing other students from learning and/or the teacher from teaching.
(b) The student is uncontrollable and is not amenable to any form of school authority.
(c) The Parent/Guardian refuses to exercise their responsibility for the student.
(d) The student's conduct is a source of serious bad example and is having an adverse influence on other students in the school.
(e) The student's misbehaviour towards a staff member or Management is of a very serious nature.
(f) If the student's behaviour is in contravention of the Health and Safety Act.

I cannot possibly see how Shane Donnelly could have contravened any of these criteria except for item (d) and even at that it is a serious stretch. I have heard suggestions that he is being accused of acting in contravention of the Health and Safety Act – but if this is the case then it is a seriously dubious interpretation of this Act (one as a safety representative I am very familiar with). Furthermore, in my opinion there appears to be nothing in the School’s published safety policy that could possibly be interpreted in such a way as to warrant the expulsion of Shane Donnelly.

Not alone that but the suggestion of immediate expulsion actually appear to be in contravention of the school rules themselves.

I urge you to reconsider this course of action. The students from your school who protested against the budget measures on Tuesday should be commended. However, I am sure that Shane Donnelly would be happy enough to simply return to class next Monday without this threat hanging over his head.

I would appreciate it if you would bring the contents of this email to the schools Board of Management.

author by MCpublication date Thu Dec 09, 2010 18:47Report this post to the editors

Dear Principal,

I'm writing to support Shane (especially) and the rest of his schoolmates who walked out of school to protest at the government cutbacks.

As (CSPE) teachers, we are constantly telling our students to stand up for themselves, to not be bullied, to do what is right, to speak out. It is a shame that when people do this, the very people who have been telling them to speak out (teachers and/or principals) threaten to suspend the kids.

I remember a similar thing happening in Limerick about three years ago when a student was handing out leaflets outside his school after school hours.

These very brave students, doing this very brave action, should be commended, not condemned. They were responsible in their approach, leaving school and going to the offices of power (in a local setting), their local Fianna Fáil TD, John Curran.

It seems that we are only going to encourage people to "do the right thing" when doing the right thing doesn't rock-the-boat.

Rgds,
Your name

author by Seanpublication date Thu Dec 09, 2010 14:00author email clondalkinschoolstudents at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors

Dear Mr Clark,

I am writing to express my support for Shane Donnelly and the other students who have recently joined in walkout protests against the cuts. Shane has shown a brave, intelligent, and heart-felt commitment to social justice and democracy. These are virtues, not vices, and it would be wrong to punish him for them.

Education should be about instilling in young people the ability to pursue knowledge, and empowering them to creatively contribute to shaping their communities. Protests are an essential tool of democracy. They are the means by which so much important political progress has been made in society.

It would be a terrible mistake to punish a student like Shane for standing up in a courageous way for his beliefs. Instead, the actions of Shane and his fellow students should be a source of pride for the school, and this period of heightened political awareness should be recognized for the incredible learning opportunity that it is.

I understand that there is a Board of Management Disciplinary meeting scheduled for tomorrow. I urge you to reflect on the bravery and commitment to democracy that the students have shown---and I urge you to take absolutely no disciplinary action against Shane or against other students who have been active in protesting against the cuts.

Yours sincerely,

(name and address)

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:42Report this post to the editors

must be FF board of management, with a nice green border.

These kids should be elevated as an example in the face of the general apathy and forelock-tugging from their elders. My generation crossed that border from The Who's rebellion into the ME, ME, fucking ME generation somewhere around PD/neo-con subversion of regulation and democratic monitoring in the name of their one-eyed idol of self-progression corporate kidnap into the race-tent of a profligate gambler's dereliction.

Pass that lad a microphone someone. We need generational change, before another batch of blueshirts with labour-pink collars exports them to build the societies of the fucking bondholders.

author by Seanpublication date Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:16author email clondalkinschoolstudents at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors

Sample letter:

Dear Mr Clarke,

I was shocked to hear of the attempt to victimise peaceful student protestors, in particular Shane Donnelly who I believe is facing expulsion, for protesting against the attacks on education contained in the recent budget.

I believe that the attempts to victimise these students for engaging in a walkout sets a dangerous precedent. Such draconian measures will be used against other sections of students and indeed members of staff who are fighting for their rights or engaging in legitimate peaceful protest.

I am writing to demand that no disciplinary action is taken against these students, who were simply engaged in peaceful protest. Any attempt to punish them is simply an attempt to effectively criminalise protest among school students and intimidate others from standing up for their rights. Any punishment will be vigorously opposed by myself and others in Ireland and internationally.

Yours faithfully,

xxxxx

author by Moyle Park Collegepublication date Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:20Report this post to the editors

Principal Mr Aiden Clarke

Deputy Principal Mr Maurice Hartigan

Chaplin Brother Nicholas Smith

Address:
Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Telephone 01 4574837
Fax 01 4577682

E-mail: info@moyleparkcollege.ie
Web: www.moyleparkcollege.ie
News Blog: www.moyleparknews.com
Tweets: www.twitter.com/moylepark

Related Link: http://www.moyleparkcollege.ie
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