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Ministers must examine teenage pregnancy discrimination case

30 April, 2012 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Speaking following news reports today that a school in Munster has refused to apologise to a girl who was denied admission on the basis that she was pregnant and then again when she had her baby, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children Caoimhghín Ó Caolain TD called on the Minister for Children and Minister for Education to jointly examine the case and urged the school to apologise to the girl.

Deputy Ó Caolain said;

“The young woman at the centre of this case was discriminated against, firstly on the grounds of pregnancy and secondly on the grounds she was a single teenage mother, when the school should have been encouraging her decision to remain in school and finish her education.

“Discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy or family status is in no way legitimate for adults and this same right should be afforded to children. The young woman should have been supported in her decision to return to school and not stigmatised and treated in such an appalling manner.

“There is a broader issue here of how young parents are treated in Irish society and within the education system. I would urge the school in question to read the Ombudsman for Children’s report of this case and apologise for the very real harm they caused this girl. The Ombudsman has found that the school’s actions were improperly discriminatory and if the school refuses to rectify its procedures, the Ministers for Children and Education must step in and take action.”


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