first_imgA primary school has been ordered to compensate a Donegal teacher after the Equality Tribunal found she had been harassed on religious grounds and discriminated against because her son was gay.Resource teacher Bernadette Marron from Bundoran took the case against the board of management of St Paul’s, a Church of Ireland primary school in Collooney, Co Sligo.The 53-year-old teacher worked at the school for seven years. She claimed at a tribunal that the school principal made a series of critical comments about her son’s sexual orientation, saying a “normal boy” would not spend an afternoon shopping for clothes.She said the principal also raised her son’s speech and attire. She told the tribunal he said her son’s pink blazer was not appropriate and questioned what kind of mother Ms Marron was to have a son like that.Ms Marron said the principal – who denied the allegations – also made a series of comments which were critical or discriminatory towards Catholics.She said the principal criticised the behaviour of Catholics in church, commented on the negative effects of Catholics joining a local Church of Ireland secondary school and referred to Church of Ireland members as “our children” and the “right people”.Ms Marron, a non-practising Catholic, said she felt repeatedly undermined by the principal and complained to the school in September 2013. The issues, however, were not dealt with properly by the school, she said.The chair of the board of management, however, told the tribunal it responded to the allegations “as best they could”.The principal of St Paul’s denied Ms Marron’s allegations and expressed shock that they had been made.Regarding Ms Marron’s son’s speech, the principal said she herself had been upset by the boy’s comments about his classmates, which included her own daughter. The principal denied making any statement about the complainant’s son shopping for clothes.The principal said she was shocked to learn of the allegations and said she had never discriminated against ms Marron and had sought to include her at all events involving the school.In its finding, the Equality Tribunal found as fact that the principal made the derogatory comments attributed to her by Ms Marron.The tribunal found the principal’s use of the words “us” and “our” in relation to children and adults of different religions amounted to harassment.Comments on the sexual orientation of Ms Marron’s son and her parenting undermined her dignity at work and amounted to discrimination by association.Ms Marron told the tribunal she was looking for an acknowledgment that what had happened to her was wrong and sought no financial compensation.The tribunal, however, ordered the school to award her €3,000 on the basis that the case would attract a significant award of damages in the ordinary course of events.It also ordered that the school undertake equality training to cover discrimination and harassment.DONEGAL TEACHER WINS COMPENSATION OVER PRINCIPAL’S COMMENTS ABOUT HER GAY SON was last modified: January 6th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Bernadette MarronbundoranChurch of IrelandCommentsdonegalgay sonsligolast_img read more

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