Board offers its support to high school

The Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) has stated that it will continue to support Banbridge High School following the recent Jack Chick comic scandal.

The Wikipedia entry for Jack Chick describes him as a writer of evangelical fundamentalist Christian tracts and comic books. His comics have been described by the Los Angeles Magazine as “equal parts hate literature and fire-and-brimstone sermonizing”.

The entry also states that Chick’s company, Chick Publications, claims to have sold over 750 million tracts, comics tracts and comic books, videos, books, and posters designed to promote Protestant evangelism from a christian fundamentalist perspective or point of view.

A SELB spokesman told the Leader, “Materials held in school libraries are ordinarily a matter for the school. The Board is aware of the concerns raised in newspaper reports in recent days and will continue to support the school.”

The development comes as SDLP Councillor Seamus Doyle raised concerns about the alleged discovery of the controversial literature in the reference section of the high school’s library.

“It really concerns me that this material has been found. I would ask the education board and the board of governors to look into this.”

Councillor Doyle continued, “It is particularly disturbing that ‘hate strips’ like this have been found in the library of a state school which is open to everyone.”

Meanwhile, Upper Bann MP David Simpson said he was worried the scandal may detract from the school’s “hard work”.

“Banbridge High School is a mixed school and is held very high regard throughout the local community. I have spoken to Mr Bell who is very concerned that this material has taken away the focus of what school life is all about – education,” explained Mr Simpson

“I work closely with Banbridge High School and I have seen firsthand the work and effort that the teachers and every member of staff carry out day after day to deliver excellence to the pupils, and for the duty of care that they fulfil each day to every young person; they are worthy of our support.” What do you think? Email your views to news@banbridgeleader.co.uk