THIS CATHOLIC SCHOOL CRISIS WITH VERY SINISTER MACHINATIONS IS THE BIGGEST STORY THIS BLOG HAS COVERED.
IT COULD TAKE WEEKS FOR THE STORY TO UNFOLD BUT IN THE MEANTIME PEOPLE ARE IN REAL PHYSICAL DANGER!
“Dear Bishop Pat,
Thank you for meeting me this morning at your home in Larne. Here is the email that you asked me to send to you to highlight the situation regarding my sibling who is in a current dispute along with other teachers, a situation that you have raised in recent days in your blog.
For much of their professional career my sibling has taught within the school that you speak of. For many years my sibling loved their job, the school and the area in which they have worked. Over the years I have read the cards from parents and children alike in which they have appreciated their kindness, professionalism and joy in teaching.
There was never an issue or any dispute with my sibling. They thrived in the classroom and their passion and vocation for education consumed their life.
This all changed two year ago when a negative culture emerged within the school. My sibling and other teachers were subjected to horrific practices. In the end they were called out on strike by their union. This decision to strike was a very difficult decision to make and went against the grain of every professional instinct that my sibling holds dear. In the end they followed the directive of their union. They were the first school in Northern Ireland, I believe in 25 years, to have gone on strike outside a national dispute, and this in itself reveals the seriousness of issues the union were addressing within the school.
I would like your readers to know that this issue, which I first raised with you on Wednesday in Belfast, is not about a common in house (School Matter) regarding school politics etc….
When they were on strike something happened. You know what it is Pat, but to protect my sibling I will keep the details confidential. The events that happened at first were not noticed, but after several months the truth came out.
The truth forced my sibling and other teachers onto the sick.
I cannot speak for the other teachers, but the mental impact upon my sibling has had a detrimental impact on their mental health. I don’t know what a nervous breakdown looks like but I believe my sibling has had one. What happed on that picket line has left my sibling living in fear. I stress the word FEAR. They are now a shadow of their former selves.
No one, with the exception of their union, has stopped to ask if they are ok. No one from the schools board of governors has been in contact. No one from the catholic church has been in contact.
My sibling’s Occupational Health doctor stated that this the worst situation she had ever heard in over 10 years of referrals.
My sibling is receiving counselling and therapy to deal with the aftermath of what has happened.
My sibling is meeting regularly with their GP and local practice nurse.
My sibling did nothing wrong. A great scandalous wrong had been done to them.
My sibling is being forced down to half pay and risks losing their home and is talking about food banks to make ends meet.
My sibling is being told that they don’t have to go down to half pay and could return to the school, but they know that this will be end of them.
My sibling and the other teachers are asking for two things – For their income to be protected and for a timely transfer away from an environment that has destroyed them.
This is a scandal that I cannot sit back and watch. In life there is right and wrong. A great wrong was done and it is being compounded by CCMS and the Board Of Governors.
Bishop Treanor, you have the power to end this. You have the power to do the right thing. In the name of Jesus I beg for you to intervene and to end this once and for all. The situation for my sibling cannot continue. End this the proper way for them and the other teachers involved”.
I want my readers to fully understand that this dispute is not a run of the mill school problem.
In my 49 years in the church I have never come across such a massive injustice and scandal.
Its like a chapter from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Quite literally spies are involved!!! I mean that!
There are “ghosts” in this situation. People working in the dark corridors of power – people who do not want their names mentioned or photographs displayed.
Here are the moral questions these “holy ghosts” should be asking:
- Is it morally right that these teachers are being cut down to half pay?
- Is it morally right that in this day and age teachers should be going to food banks to feed their children?
- Is it morally right that they could lose their homes?
- Is it morally right that their professional reputations should be destroyed?
- Is it morally right that they are suffering from PTSD – Post Traumatic Strees Disorder and in trauma therapy?
Hey you “Holy Ghosts; Yes, I’m talking to you. You know who you are! There are two ways to sort out this massive scandal – the right way and the wrong way.
If you have any Christian charity you will do the right thing.
And finally, can I ask you to read and reread the Edmund Rice Schools Trust charter (taken from the world wide webb)
Nurturing faith, Christian spirituality and Gospel-based values;
Excelling in teaching and learning;
Creating a caring school community;
Inspiring transformational leadership.
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