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Topic: Sectarianism in Scottish schools (Honest answers, please)  (Read 393 times)

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Sectarianism in Scottish schools (Honest answers, please)
« on: January 14, 2018, 01:22:17 PM »
One thing I can't wrap my head around is why kids in Scotland are still separated by religion in public school. Public schools are either Catholic or Protestant.

Even if the schools share the same building, Catholic and Protestant kids are kept separate by different entrances and playgrounds.

I know sectarianism was really bad when DH was a kid because of this divide. Is it still bad today among kids?

I feel it would a weird concept to attitude to introduce to my kids, especially as we aren't religious at all. (One of the things that worries me about raising kids in Scotland.)
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Re: Sectarianism in Scottish schools (Honest answers, please)
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2018, 02:42:51 PM »
It's only sort of like this.

Most state schools are officially Protestant, just like everything in Britain is officially Protestant. There are also state Catholic schools, which provide overtly Catholic education and culture to a small amount of kids. Regular state schools celebrate Christmas and Easter, and may visit a church a couple of times a year, but there is no pressure to be religious, its more of a cultural thing. There is also lots of education about other religions, etc. State schools in reality are pretty secular. Christian-y without being Christian.

Yes, the Catholic state schools sometimes share a building or facilities with the regular state school in the same area. This is mostly at the primary level. For high schools, they are more often separate buildings. Many people send their kids to these schools because they'll have stricter discipline or better test scores, etc. Lots of non-Catholics attend these state Catholic schools.

I'm sure you knew most of this, but I just thought I'd clarify in case anyone else was confused. What you were describing me reminded me more of the situation in Northern Ireland, where (I think) there is more of the divide you mentioned.

In my town, there is one primary school and everyone goes to the one school. For secondary school, they go to a big town about 10 minutes away. If I wanted to, I could send them to the Catholic high school in that big town.

The situation you describe probably applies to about, I dunno, one in every 30 primary schools? That's a total guess. Off the top of my head I can only think of one shared campus catholic primary and one stand-alone catholic primary.
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Re: Sectarianism in Scottish schools (Honest answers, please)
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 03:00:07 PM »
What you were describing me reminded me more of the situation in Northern Ireland, where (I think) there is more of the divide you mentioned.

That's just what I was going to say. It sounds more like you're describing schools in Northern Ireland (where there are still religious tensions), rather than schools in Scotland.

My mum was born in Glasgow and raised in Edinburgh until she was 14 (1950s and 1960s), and I also have 5 Scottish cousins who went through the Scottish education system between the early 1980s and the late 2000s.
My cousins are non-religious (as far as I know) and they attended non-denominational schools.

My sister-in-law is also from Scotland and she is non-religious... she attended a non-denominational high school near Glasgow.

None of them have ever mentioned any kind of religious separation/sectarianism in their schools before.

Regular state schools celebrate Christmas and Easter, and may visit a church a couple of times a year, but there is no pressure to be religious, its more of a cultural thing. There is also lots of education about other religions, etc. State schools in reality are pretty secular. Christian-y without being Christian.

I was educated in the southwest of England, and this pretty much describes English state schools as well.

We didn't really have any church attendance (we only went twice in 5 years, for the Founder's Day service), and we celebrated Easter and Christmas, plus had weekly Religious Education lessons, where we learned about other religions (Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism etc.), but that was it.


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Re: Sectarianism in Scottish schools (Honest answers, please)
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 03:30:15 PM »
All of our grandchildren are in school in Scotland. There is no separation by religion in the schools they attend in fact I could not tell you what religion there friends are.  We do have a catholic school close by but the kids that attend it are not all catholic. sectarianism is not something I would associate with Scotland, maybe in Northern Ireland.
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Re: Sectarianism in Scottish schools (Honest answers, please)
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 11:51:33 AM »
I don't live in Scotland, but I can tell you about school in England and it is mostly not religious.  When the kids were in year one, it was a bit shocking that they had religion at all, and wierd when your kid starts talking about Jesus.  After a while, things settle down and the Jesus stuff is limited to certain classes.  Overall in terms of religious zeloutry, the US is 8 out of 10 and England is probably 1 out of 10.  People don't go to church, most churches have been turned into pubs and art galleries. 


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Re: Sectarianism in Scottish schools (Honest answers, please)
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 01:35:50 PM »
You don't really see that up this way , but certainly have heard lots of stories from friends who grew up in the Glasgow area. 
I don't really know though how much still Sectarianism still goes on, versus good ole football rivalry these days  - but perhaps folks who live in that area can comment on their observations.

An interesting article on said subject:
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25363841
 

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Re: Sectarianism in Scottish schools (Honest answers, please)
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 06:57:00 PM »
I don't have children, but I work beside several 'kids' that are between age 17- 22, and it certainly seems to be a non-issue with them. 
When I first moved to Glasgow in 1985, the city was rife with bigotry and sectarian language and violence.  My boyfriend at the time had been in some trouble at the football, as had several of his pals.  I wore a Rangers scarf into a pub once (totally innocently... I simply preferred the colour blue to the colour green, and I genuinely didn't know the 'meaning' behind it all)... someone set my scarf on fire... while it was still wrapped around my neck!

It wasn't all violence... sometimes it was something fairly subtle like where you lived, or what school you'd gone to.  Sometimes it was just wee nuances in conversation.  My sister in Texas had given birth to my niece, and I was telling people at work that i'd just become an auntie. 
Them (various conversations merged for this example!):Oh...a baby girl, lovely!  What's her name?
Me:  they've called her Mary-Claire
.... look of shock crosses over their faces...
Them: oh, I didn't think you were that way inclined...
Me:  ?? what way inclined ?? 
Them: Oh you know... a fenian/ a tim /a pape/ a left-footer/ insert whichever nickname for Roman Catholics you prefer/ we thought you were a proddy.

I think/I hope that with each generation that comes along, it gets more and more diluted.. it certainly seems to be going that way.  As I said, i never hear even the slightest mention of it from the kids i work with.  The only time i hear anything a bit 'off' is from people my own age (mid-50's and up).   :-\\\\ 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 09:06:17 PM by Albatross »


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