End religious discrimination against teachers who are atheist
The Irish Government is proposing a Bill to protect LGBT teachers, while allowing religious discrimination against teachers who are atheist and minority faiths. Atheist Ireland is campaigning to change this Bill so that it protects all teachers equally.
This is a rare opportunity to change an unjust law and promote equality. here’s how you can help.
- Share this image and link widely on social media
- Become familiar with the law and its problems.
- Contact your local TDs and Government Ministers
- Volunteer to help with our campaign to change this law
- Donate to our campaign to change this law
For further information on how to help, please email us at email@example.com
How this Bill causes religious discrimination
To become familiar with the proposed law and its problems, please read the following articles on http://atheist.ie.
- Atheist Ireland to lobby EU, as Irish State says EU sanctions discrimination against atheist teachers
- Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan does not have a photographic memory of atheists
- Labour Party forgets its pledge to protect atheist teachers
- Another UN Committee tells Ireland to end all religious discrimination in education
The Government is arguing that the proposed law is a step forward, but if you read the detail you will find that it is reinforcing and institutionalising the right to discriminate against atheists.
There is also a different Bill before the Dail, proposed by the Anti Austerity Alliance TDs, that addresses the problems in a way that would protect all teachers equally.
This is a rare opportunity to change an unjust law and promote equality. Please help us to do so. For further information on how to help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It might be useful for people to have the links to the Oireachtas page for the two Bills. Here they are:
(1) The one just passed by Seanad, that still allows discrimination against atheists/minority faiths: http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/bills28/bills/2013/2313/document1.htm
(2) The one proposed by the AAA TDs, that would protect atheists/minority faiths:
Am I right in thinking that, even if we get employment protection for atheist/minority faith teachers, they could still be required to teach the patron’s religion curriculum if employed in a primary school? So a teacher’s job could be safe until the moment they say “I’m afraid my conscience doesn’t allow me to indoctrinate children in a faith I don’t share” – then the school could have legitimate grounds for dismissal? I remember one of my daughter’s class teachers (C of I school) who was obviously in a difficult situation in that regard; another teacher took on the religion classes instead, so my guess is that the principal had some sympathy for his position, but others might not be so lucky. Is this something we need to try to add at Committee Stage (of the 2015 Bill)?
It might be useful for others to have the links for the Oireachtas pages on the two Bills. I tried to post these but it seems links aren’t accepted in comments so the comment was lost. If you Google the text below you’ll find them.
(1) The Bill that doesn’t protect atheists/minority faiths, just passed by Seanad: Google “Bill Number 23 of 2013”
(2) The Bill from the AAA TDs that would protect atheists/minority faiths: Google “Bill Number 55 of 2015”
In each case (on google.ie) the Oireachtas page appears as the first hit.
Am I right in thinking that, even if we get employment protection for atheist or minority faith teachers, they can still be required to teach the religion curriculum of the patron body (in a primary school)? So a teacher might be safe from dismissal until the moment they say “My conscience doesn’t allow me to indoctrinate children in a faith I don’t share” – then the school would have legitimate grounds for dismissal? If so, we ought to suggest it for inclusion in the Committee Stage of Bill 55 (the AAA one). Does Bill 55 still have a chance, given that we’re so close to the end of the session? Can it be picked up where it left off after the summer?