Pupils disciplined for failing to attend mass at Catholic high

An ideological battle has broken out at a New Stevenston school over whether pupils should be made to attend religious services.

Taylor High held its Patron Day Mass on Friday.
Taylor High held its Patron Day Mass on Friday.

Taylor High held its Patron Day Mass on Friday with Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Toal in attendance.

All pupils were told to be present as it also served as a memorial service for former members of staff who died earlier this year.

However, a number of youngsters refused to attend and have been punished with a week of lunchtime detentions.

One sixth year student believes it is unfair pupils who are not practicing Catholics should have to sit through mass.

She said: “Although pupils are usually forced to go, there is not usually consequences for not being there and I believe it is unfair to have forced religious observance towards many pupils who may not be religious, me included.

“When I was 11 I did not have the choice of which school I would go to. To now move would be pointless, I should just be able to have an enjoyable last year, without being forced into detention for a whole week and banned from the social area.”

The student estimated 70 pupils across all years were affected, but the school denied this claiming it was just a small number of senior pupils.

Acting head teacher Nicola Daley said: “Our entire school held its annual Patron’s Day Mass on Friday with Bishop Joseph Toal as its Principal Celebrant.

“The theme for the celebration was Saint Teresa of Calcutta and highlighted her work with the poor. It was also a memorial service for two members of our staff who died in May after giving years of service to the school.

“Their invaluable contribution to the school community was highlighted during the service.

“Regrettably, a small number of pupils, who had attended school in the morning, opted to truant in the afternoon and miss the service.

“The pupils have been subject to school discipline as a consequence of their actions.”