Year: 2003
Module:Community Relations
Variable:OWNMXSCH - comments

And if you were deciding where to send your children to school, would you prefer a school with children of only your own religion, or a mixed-religion school?

NB: Square brackets indicate where the text was edited.

Personally I think if Protestant and Catholic people mixed more there would be less prejudice towards each other. I think all schools should be mixed especially primary schools, so children understand that Protestants are no different to us really.

The sooner all schools are of a mixed religion then the sooner all religion will end.

Integrated schools prepare children for the future as they not only introduce you to people of different religions but also of different traditions and cultures. This prepares you better for the outside world as you are able to interact with them.

think that education about other religions and cultures is the way forward. Ignorance breed sectarianism, suspicion and hatred and because a lot of schools and communities in Northern Ireland are not mixed, there is a lot of ignorance because of this. Being a Catholic, I disagree with extreme loyalists, but also with extreme republicans. I do not see any reason, other than narrow-mindedness, why people cannot practice their own beliefs and allow others to practice theirs.

I think the main reason for ill feeling between Catholics and Protestants is that a difference is made between the two religions. I don't think a difference should be made, children starting school should be of mixed religions so that they can find out each others lifestyles and grow up to be friends instead of enemies. Also I think a lot more cross community projects should be put into action throughout all schools.

[I] believe there should be more mixed religion schools in N. Ireland, as I believe lack of knowledge and understanding of the opposite community is the biggest problem. There should be more cross community projects for teens whose opinions can be moulded. Single religion sports like Gaelic and Rugby should be worked on so that both communities play them. Should be more interaction between the different churches.

I feel that more integrated schools would help.

More work needs to be done to bring students from different religions together.

[] I think mixed schools would be a good idea as you could give young people the opportunity to grow up with each other and learn about different traditions and cultures, instead of being told what is right and wrong by others. People would then really be able to accept each other and we could move on. You can't change history but you can change the future.

The feelings between the relations are due to the way we are brought up. If we actually took time to listen to what each other say we would get on really well but the problem is we don't. I feel that there should be more integrated schools and parks. This would mean a more friendly environment for our children and also less fighting.

[I] feel that single religion schools limit contact with other young people from different religions.

Because most of the schools we go to and the areas that we live in are off the same religion, we don't get a chance to meet people of a different religion that often.

Going to an integrated school changed my views on different religions. I was able to find out what people from different religions were like for myself. There should be more integrated schools.

If pupils don't learn to mix in school levels, they won't mix in adulthood.

[I] think that everyone should mix with each other without any violence. I went to a mixed religion school for 5 years and never saw any fights over religion. I wish it could just be the same outside school.

I think there needs to be more integrated schools, as it is where young people get to mix and understand each other better.

The reason [why] I would want to send my children to a Catholic school is because I think mixed schools would mean children would receive less religious education and this would be wrong as religion is already becoming less important in day to day life. I also think one reason why community relations are so bad is because we are not taught enough about other religions in school. Each community doesn't really understand the other's religion.

I think a minor group tend to specify between the Protestant and Catholic communities, however personally I judge people more by their personality, not their religious identity. I would like my children to go to a school of their own religion so they can learn and develop through it, without the influence of others.

Although I would send my children to a Catholic school, I would always be tolerant of other religious views, I would discourage bigotry at all times. This is what my parents have done and I now feel indifferent but tolerant towards Protestants. I know many Protestants but treat them like my Catholic friends except for talking about politics or football.

In my experience inter-religion relations tend to be better between better educated and more affluent people than those people with a more limited education. I think that people who have a better education come into more contact with other people from the other main religious group. I also think that those who are better off accept people on the size of their bank balance or address and don't limit this to one religious group. I also think that grammar schools lead to greater tolerance as different religions are brought together and acceptance is related to intelligence and not religion.

I would prefer to stay within my own religion, for obvious reasons, and when my son is of age for nursery, he will be attending a Protestant nursery where there will be no discrimination.

The whole sectarian issue probably affects the day-to-day lives of people living in the city much more than it does mine. Of course prejudice is still present in my town but it's never acted on in the form of violence. There is still a really distinct divide in our town, which really saddens me, with only one integrated secondary school to five single religion ones. I can joke about sectarianism with my Catholic and Protestant friends but I get really angry if people show themselves to be truly prejudiced. Recently I've noticed also some people being shockingly racist and acting like it was acceptable. I think many people in NI are becoming increasingly resentful towards foreign immigrants, using excuses like 'they are taking our jobs' to cover up a previously unknown, deep-seated racism inside themselves.

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