Gary McLelland

Pupils shouldn’t be forced into religious observance

Isn’t it time that religious observance was removed from Scotland’s schools, asks one humanist campaigner

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Like many young people of Irish descent growing up in the west of Scotland, my parents sent me to a denominational school. Their reason was partly secular – the local Catholic school happened to be one of the best in the area – but there was also a vague notion of wanting me to develop “values”.

In my teens, I rejected religion. I resented that the state had been complicit in ensuring that I internalised outdated notions of sectarian identity, and scrimped on its duty to expose me to new beliefs or to challenge my own.

Since 2012, I have been involved in promoting support for the development ...

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