Diane reported this horrible practice in a comment at Atheist Ireland on Facebook. It’s one I hadn’t heard of before – a creative and sadistic way to make children feel the sharp pain of exclusion from bliss for not being part of the religious in-crowd. I’m sharing it with her permission.
Jayzus at the amount of time spent arguing with the local primary school to no avail re parties for those who ‘sang at yesterdays’ communion, mass’ etc. when the ‘school’ specifically stated it doesn’t discriminate: explain to me why X goes home in tears because s/he was excluded from the party because of not being Catholic Enough. It’s also blatantly hollow to encourage/reward children with treats to gain religious brownie points. Shouldn’t the reward be implicit by having the One True Religion? (I was calm, honestly, and this is FB so an abbreviated version of events.)
That wasn’t appreciated by the principal. *cue mumble mumble back-pedalling drivel*
Having a solicitor willing to help resulted in “well, if you want a pupil to be admitted to Y school later, best not to have a record of ‘incidents'” i.e. keep yer gob shut. Using a child as a ping-pong ball is wrong from both ends of the spectrum but it was gawdawful to see the four children- not catholic- being ostracized after class lessons about Inclusion. Allowing the pupils to skip RE is one thing; to punish them for it later is feckin horrendous.
End of almighty rant.