Sinn Féin Education spokesperson attends teacher conferences
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Seán Crowe TD has been attending the teachers' conferences over the past number of days. One of the main issues arising out of discussions with teachers and union members has been the problem of school discipline. Deputy Crowe has expressed his concern about the serious level of abuse and even violence directed at teachers and considers the problem to be a direct reflection of similar problems within communities at large.
Sinn Féin TD has learnt of incidents where teachers have had pellet guns fired at them and even an incident where a pregnant teacher had stones thrown at her car as she was leaving the school premises. "We need greater community participation in the running of schools," he said. "It is only through this broader community participation can we address the discipline issue from both inside and outside schools."
Another difficulty addressed by Deputy Crowe is the culture of silence amongst teachers on this issue. He said, "No teacher wants to expose negative feedback regarding their own school. But unfortunately such a code of silence is unhelpful. We need a more open approach to the whole problem of school discipline and I welcome the Minister's readiness to get into discussions with the unions of the issue." ENDS