Top honours go to schools for part in tackling racism

By William O'Connor

BRESSIE, and the Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon, honoured 13 primary and secondary schools for tackling racism and achieving diversity standards, resulting in them receiving Yellow Flag status at a multicultural ceremony of pupils representing 83 nationalities and cultures.

Among them were Clondalkin school St Ronan’s NS Deansrath and Adamstown Castle Educate Together in Lucan.

St Ronans NS Clondalkin Dublin YFAwards2016 

Embarking on the eight-step Yellow Flag programme each school must meet specific targets to create an environment where identity and racism bullying is challenged and diversity and equality are embedded within whole school practice.

Of the 2016 flag recipient schools, 3 out of 10 pupils surveyed reported to have experienced racism last year and 85 per cent said they would “like their school to provide time to celebrate different cultures, languages, religions and identities.

Adamstown Castle Educate Together YFAwards2016

Pioneered and coordinated by the Irish Traveller Movement, the multi-level programme for pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community was established seven years ago to help support schools create cross-cultural understanding, racial harmony and equal recognition of religious and ethnic traditions which would reflect Ireland’s diversity with school populations comprising over 200 different cultures.

Speaking at the awards, Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon said “I am delighted to support this hugely important initiative whereby schools, young people and whole communities are encouraged to understand and fight discrimination.

"The Yellow Flag programme, which promotes integration and diversity, goes a long way to helping all children and young people to realise their human rights.

"It is crucial to engage these children and young people at the earliest possible opportunity so that they learn the value and benefits of diversity and tolerance in society.”

Speaking at the event student of Gavril Muntean St Ronan’s NS Deansrath, said “Yellow Flag means NO Bullying to me. I really like the celebrations and activities that we do together. I like the trips we go on too. I like the way we do everything together as a group. I can’ wait until we actually get the Yellow Flag and fly it outside our school”.

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