News 1916

Sunday 25 September 2016

We will stand up to bullies, students vow

Published 03/03/2016 | 02:30

Pupil Mark Kelly reads a new Proclamation to his classmates, which they have written, at St. Paul's Primary School, Portlaoise, Co Laois. Photograph: James Flynn/APX
Pupil Mark Kelly reads a new Proclamation to his classmates, which they have written, at St. Paul's Primary School, Portlaoise, Co Laois. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

The dangers of social media is a strong theme in the Proclamation for a new Generation written by the boys of St Paul's Primary School, Portlaoise.

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They devote one of the seven paragraphs to it and, while recognising its value when used responsibly, they come down hard on those who resort to cyberbullying, something they want stamped out. And they make a vow: "We pledge to be strong enough to say 'enough is enough' to bullies and to treat each other with kindness".

It was the 14-pupil student council, drawn from 5th and 6th class at the 420-pupil school, who were given the job of writing the Proclamation for a New Generation.

Teachers Christine Redmond and Bríd Delaney had a few meetings with the council to explain the project. The pupils came up with key topics they wanted to cover such as acceptance, global warming and crime and then broke up into seven groups, to work on the detail of the different paragraphs.

Like so many other Irish schools, its population is drawn from many ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and the opening line of the Proclamation extends a welcome to "all that have chosen Ireland as their new home".

It also speaks of their hopes for continuing peace in Ireland and the protection of the environment, through recycling, less use of imported fossil fuels and more sustainable agriculture.

On March 15, members of the council will read both the 1916 Proclamation and their own Proclamation for a New Generation. The day's events at the school will also include older pupils talking to younger classes about 1916 and the Tricolour.

Irish Independent

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