independent

Tuesday 2 September 2014

A very busy day at school polling station

CHILDREN CAST THEIR VOTE

FERGAL MADDOCK

Published 13/11/2012 | 12:54

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PUPILS FROM a North Fingal national school went to the polls last week where they got the chance to cast their vote on the children's referendum.

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The election at Balbriggan Educate Together National School was organised by the Student Council, which set up a full-blown polling station and took on the important roles of presiding and returning officers. Out of a total electorate of 404 children, some 333 voted in favour of the amendment, while 64 voted against. There were seven spoiled votes.

On exiting the polling station, some roving child-reporters questioned the children as to their preference. Many of those in favour declared ' I hope that my rights as a child will now be respected' or 'I hope that children's needs will now be made a priority'. Some of those against the constitutional change observed ' I'm afraid that it might break up families' or ' The State should not interfere in families'.

The teachers in the school noted that the issue was discussed with sophistication in the classrooms and in depth in the children's homes. Principal Fintan McCutcheon was delighted with the children's learning from the event which he said was ' in keeping with our commitment as an Educate Together school to robust citizenship education and to enhancing the voice of the child'.

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