The Principal of Banbridge High has strongly refuted allegations controversial reading material, which has been branded ‘sectarian’, was ever present in the school library.
Cartoon strips by divisive United States comic art and writer, Jack Chick, were alleged to have been found in the reference section of the library as reported in The Irish News.
Four cartoon strips, so-called ‘Chick Tracts’, were apparently found, with one supposedly containing a link to the Chick website where a catalogue of 128 more publications, many with Catholicism as its theme or subject, can be accessed. The material was subsequently branded ‘sectarian’ by a number of individuals who contacted The Irish News. However, Principal Bell told the Leader there is “no evidence” the literature was ever present in the library and nor did any individual bring it to his attention.
One cartoon, ‘Mean Momma’, was described by by the Irish News as telling the story of a mother who rejects religion and and refuses to fear God. The ‘ Chick Tract’ goes on to depict the mother’s three children dying, one by committing suicide, above the caption, ‘the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away’.
Mr Bell said the ‘tracts’ contained language of an “extreme nature” and thus “would certainly not be anything that the school could support and would not reflect the caring, supportive and inclusive ethos of the school”.
He continued, “Banbridge High School strongly refutes the assertions that have been made in various elements of the press in recent days.
“The literature being referred to in these press articles cannot be located, and there is no evidence, which has been discovered, that the literature highlighted was ever in the school library. It also must be pointed out that no such items were brought to the attention of the Principal.”
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