Following the new abortion laws which came into affect at midnight on Tuesday, a poster with the words ‘darkest day’ appeared on the Christians Union notice board at Dalriada School.
The poster has cause controversy amongst current and past pupils, many taking to social media to voice their outrage.
But one local councillor, DUPs Alderman John Finlay has defended the rights of the members of Dalriada School’s Christian Union to erect a “darkest day” poster on the CU notice-board.
Alderman Finlay said,
“Members of the Dalriada School Christian Union decided to place a poster along these lines on their own CU notice-board, as they were perfectly entitled to do. However, as is often the case in these types of situations, those who are most vocal in trumpeting human rights and parity of esteem, responded to the CU poster in vitriolic anger. As I understand it, the poster was ripped off and comments about abortion and LGBT scribbled on it. The latter issue, significantly, had nothing to do with the poster.
“Grossly “offended” past and current pupils and other malcontents wrote to express their disgust, not at the act of wanton vandalism in the removal and destruction of the poster, but that anyone would dare to express concern about the changes to the law. Suddenly, Dalriada was no longer a safe house for LGBT students. Such nonsense. And so much for tolerance and mutual respect.
“To compound matters, the Principal has totally over-reacted to the over-reaction against the poster. He is surely guilty of hyperbole when he dramatically says that it was a “horrendous error of judgment”. I suspect he is in a panic that he will be accused of some form of phobia and thus face calls for his dismissal. At any rate, he has done himself no favours by his display of moral cowardice.
“If human rights and parity of esteem are to mean anything, then we must defend the rights of Christian pupils and teachers to express their opinions on abortion or any other issue in a dignified and entirely reasonable way – as they have done on this occasion. The manner in which they have been treated goes to the very heart of the concerns which may of us have about the growing intolerance within society towards those who hold to Biblical values. It does not augur well for the days that lie ahead.”
HOWEVER fellow councillor Chris McCaw of Alliance has praised Dalriada School’s response to the Darkest Day noticeboard.
Councillor Chris McCaw has said;
“I was disappointed after a teacher at Dalriada allowed a ‘darkest day’ image to be displayed on a school noticeboard.
“But I do praise the school on its response on the issue, which included the headmaster describing it as a “horrendous error of judgement”.
Cllr McCaw went on to say;
“I am very proud to be a former Dalriada pupil. My experience of Dalriada is a tolerant and liberal environment open to all.
“The school is where I learned my liberal values, and was taught respect and tolerance.
“The Darkest Days campaign may be aimed at the law change on abortion rather than same sex marriage. However, it has also been viewed by LGBT people as an attack on our long fought-for right for equal marriage. It is important that people are able to express their views on sensitive issues. However, in a school we also need to consider the potential for bullying or marginalisation of vulnerable children.
“I am very proud of the school’s speedy response to this and hope that a lesson has been learned.”