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Parental choice is vital when it comes to schools

Published 01/02/2016

IN calling for an end to the segregation of children in schools in the north, Trevor Ringland (Write Back, January 26) surely echoes a sentiment which would be favoured by very many people.

Although I am fully in favour of educational pluralism, I also support parental choice. I do not subscribe to the view that the forced, mandatory integration of schools will somehow make sectarianism history.

It could be construed from Mr Ringland's letter that those parents who choose denominational education for their children are in some way not genuinely committed to a shared society.

It could also be construed that Mr Ringland favours a compulsory integrated school system for all children against the wishes of parents.

Does Mr Ringland suggest the forced integrated education, not just of Catholic and Protestant, but also Jews, Hindus and Muslims?

Does society have the right to make compulsory educational choices for children against parental wishes?

Even with the best will in the world, attempts to integrate schooling would be a logistical nightmare.

Any solution to sectarianism and schooling must be consensus-based, where difference is not just tolerated but respected, and where all creeds and colours are celebrated.

TOM COOPER

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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