|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1999 : IE Schools Apr 1999|
School CP - April 1999
Irish Times, Dublin, 9 April 1999
Department code on discipline urged
ASTI delegates voted to mandate their union to demand that the Department of Education and Science provide a comprehensive code of discipline to schools.
The code would outline sanctions and procedures against students who assault or intimidate teachers or bully fellow students.
Delegates were told the need for such a code was heightened by the fact that corporal punishment had been abolished in 1982 and since 1996 was a criminal act.
Mr Michael Barry (Cork) said it was depressing affairs that issues such as discipline and bullying had topped the agenda of the teacher conferences. intimidation. It was vital that procedures were formulated and sanctions taken against the perpetrators.
He said: "This is a health and safety issue, and teachers must be protected both inside and outside the classroom."
Mr Larry McGuinness (Fingal, Co Dublin) said: "Pupils are the new untouchables of Irish society. To risk laying a finger on them now is to risk more than one's job is worth."
But Mr Kevin Brogan (Dundalk) opposed the motion. "We need to cure the ill, not exacerbate it," he said. Bullies should be cured of their behavioural problem.
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� Colin Farrell