Joined for life

22nd October 2004 at 01:00
I have two children who currently attend Chapelhall primary and am dismayed at the current Court of Session action in respect of the joint campus proposals by North Lanarkshire Council.

I am concerned in particular that the plan to combine St Aloysius and Chapelhall primaries on the one site has reached a "hostage situation" between the council and the Roman Catholic Church - "drop this joint campus and you can have the rest".

As I have two daughters who deserve to be educated with the best possible facilities available to them, I feel they are getting rough justice with this possibly protracted court action.

I understand that one issue of the judicial review centres on the definition of a Catholic school. I fail to understand how this can justify delaying the joint campus as, from the outset, it has been made clear that there were always going to be two separate and distinct schools, but just on the one campus.

I believe the majority of parents or guardians who have children at either school are in favour of the joint campus and I have been led to believe, whether I am misled I do not know, that those who are shouting the loudest no longer have children at the schools concerned.

The powers that be should do everything possible to break down barriers of distrust and hate that sadly prevailed between the Catholic and Protestant communities - but only in the hearts and minds of adults and not in children. Consequently if children are allowed to grow and develop without creating in their minds negative thoughts and attitudes, then it will only bless the adults of the future and with it the real possibility for peace and friendship without restraint.

In Heaven, there are no Catholic shelters or Protestant shelters. ("In my Father's house there are many mansions" John 14:2). Those who are in Heaven will be one, and together they will be in the presence of the Lord our God.

Divisions are sadly only on planet Earth and created by human beings.

Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2 are a pertinent warning to adults who may cause children to sin by filling their minds with ugly and hateful thoughts.

In an area where sectarianism and bigotry are rife, I would have thought this would be an opportunity to break down barriers and encourage mutual understanding, as opposed to the ignorance of separation.

There has always been a harmonious relationship between the children of the two schools and this could be lost if the council's proposal does not go ahead. A joint campus can only enhance the ethos and doctrine of both schools.

Gail Cook Timmons Terrace Chapelhall, North Lanarkshire

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