Inherent Dignity: [Ireland] School Foyer

Inherent Dignity: [Ireland] School Foyer.

What’s in the news?

November 10, 2022
Madigan condemns school’s ‘appalling’ treatment of child with Down Syndrome
by Irish Examiner. Blackpool, Cork, Ireland. Irish Times.

What’s the story?

In Ireland, the Workplace Relations Commission ordered a primary school to pay €12,000 to a girl with Down Syndrome who was left in the school foyer during the most of the school day.

Thomas O’Driscoll, an adjudicator with the Workplace Relations Commission, told the Irish Examiner that keeping her outside the classroom “reinforced the idea to the other children, and alarmingly for her sister, that it might be normal to exclude children with special needs” (Irish Examiner).

Josepha Madigan, the Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion, responds to the ruling in the remainder of the story.

Were special education students included in the story?

NO. An adjudicator with the Workplace Relations Commission and the Irish Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion are quoted.


Is it for the disabled? Or the nondisabled?

Keeping a disabled person outside the classroom is exclusion. It is definitely not for the disabled. As quoted above, this behavior by the school is seen, and can be seen, as normal.

Does it say “inclusion”?

Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (Ireland).

Person first is used in the law title and the article title, and the treaty title I discuss below. The use of person first and identity first must be used as the disabled person desires, in order to treat them in a person first way.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

Ratified by national government? Yes.

Is it inclusive?

Keeping a disabled student outside the classroom is exclusion.

Does it “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms” of disabled people?

No. The right to be educated with nondisabled peers is written in the law in Ireland. The school violated it.

Does it promote respect for inherent dignity?

No. Respecting the inherent dignity of disabled students include actually having them in the regular classroom with their nondisabled peers.