Schools are asking students to bring in their own toilet roll due to funding issues
"You don't make a child embarrassed to come to school."
A Fianna Fáil TD has deemed the asking of students to provide their own toilet paper to school "not fair", following an Oireachtas meeting which was held earlier in the week.
Fiona O’Loughlin, chair of the Committee on Education and Social Protection, made the claim at an education meeting on Thursday. The meeting, which spanned two days, discussed school costs and facilities.
@ShaneBeattyKFM joined by @Fiona_Kildare now on yesterday’s Education Committee. Really stark ‘lived reality’ shared by many! Children having to bring toilet roll, kids being shamed for ‘voluntary contributions’😡Here’s a brief snippet - @SenLynnRuane 🦋https://t.co/0DmrufTOgl
— Shane Griffin (@shaneg86) August 31, 2018
"I still know anecdotally of children that are requested to bring toilet rolls to school because schools can’t afford to have toilet rolls,” she said.
“It’s not fair on the school, on the teachers, on the children or the parents.”
A number of organisations were invited to make presentations and answer questions at the meeting, including Government departments, parents' organisations and school management bodies.
The topic of school-related debt was also brought discussed as Independent senator Lynn Ruane criticised schools for “shaming" children and families who do not have the money to pay for supplies straight away.
“The children already feel that shame, they watch their parents struggle and then they go into the classroom and teachers further shame them in the classroom, make them stand up and ask why they don’t have their book money.
“One teacher asked a child, ‘it’s children’s allowance tomorrow, so why not tell your mother to pay for it?’. Another child - an eight-year-old - asked her parents, ‘are we poor?”
"I will not support the continued shaming and financial abuse of children and parents," Ruane concluded.
A survey which was carried out by the National Parents’ Council asked 1,800 parents at primary level whether they were asked to pay a voluntary contribution each year to help with school finances.
76% of respondents confirmed that this was the case, with a further 54% admitting to feeling under pressure to pay the contribution.
The full Oireachtas debate can be seen here.