The headmaster of a school in Ireland has been ordered to apologise to a pregnant teenager after he refused her a place because of her impending motherhood.
The Irish Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the head had acted in a 'disappointing' way and that the 16-year-old should have been supported to she could have continued her education.
The teenager was twice refused enrollment in 2009 and 2010 at the school, which has not been named.
The Irish Sun reports that the school is 'strongly Catholic' and was "founded by one man in 1978. As well as being principal until last year, he is also owner and patron."
They quoted a local resident as saying the man had "built that school from milking his cows on the farm. He did not have an easy life. He is very set in his ways and judging by this is living in the dark ages."
The mother of the pregnant teen complained to the Children's Ombudsman who wrote to the school last July. The school manager reportedly replied to her: "This school is not a haven for young pregnant people or for young mothers."
"The school has an uncompromising ethos and will not become a dumping ground for those rejected elsewhere."
Yesterday, the Ombudsman published a report criticising the school's stance.
The Children's Minister condemned the head's actions and said that "Best practice would ensure a young woman in this situation could continue her education. It's very disappointing to hear that it has been so difficult for her."
What do you think about this? Surely it would have been in the girl's best interests to get an education? Or do you agree with the headmaster?
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