Special Needs Assistants must evangelise vulnerable children in State-funded Irish schools. It is not an occupational requirement of a Special Needs Assistant to teach religion, but they still must be prepared to evangelise vulnerable children into a religious way of life.
This is a breach of the right of atheist and minority faith Special Needs Assistants to access employment in most national primary schools without acting against their conscience, as well as a breach of the human rights of atheist and minority faith families who have children with special needs.
You can read here about how Irish school teachers must be missionaries for the Catholic Church.
Today Atheist Ireland has published the employment criteria of a State-funded Irish school for Special Needs Assistants. This shows that the requirement to be a missionary for the Catholic Church is not just confined to all teachers, but applies to Special Needs Assistants as well.
Not only is ethos ahead of experience and qualifications, but there is no elaboration on experience and qualifications in the way there is for ethos. There is unlikely to be a parent in Ireland who believes the main purpose of a Special Needs Assistant is to evangelise vulnerable children into a religious way of life.
The wording of the interview criteria
“Criterea for position of Special Needs Assistant
Criterion 1 – Ethos
[name of school] is a Roman Catholic School. A Roman Catholic School (which is established in connection with the Minister) aims at promoting the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil: intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual. This includes a living relationship with God and with other people.
The school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and the life,d eat and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Catholic school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and promotes the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith.
Criterion 2 – Experience and Qualifications
Criterion 3 – Flexibility and Team Work
Criterion 4 – Suitability for Appointment (skills and qualities that could be brought to our school)”
Please help stop evangelising vulnerable children in schools
You can read more details on the Atheist Ireland website about how the Irish State endorses this practice.
Please lobby your local TDs and ask them to stop the Catholic Church evangelising vulnerable children. Tell them that it is not the job of a Special Needs Assistant to be a missionary for the Catholic Church.
Atheist Ireland is campaigning to change these unjust laws and to promote equality. Please help us to do so. If you would like to get involved in our campaign, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.