High School assembly tribunal set to begin

Principal of Banbridge High
Principal of Banbridge High

Banbridge High School is remaining tight lipped over a complaints tribunal which is due to take place on Thursday in Portadown.

The tribunal which will start at 10.30am at the Clounagh Centre focuses around alleged homophobic remarks made by a guest speaker at a school’s assembly in 2013.

The Southern Education and Library Board took the unprecedented decision to establish the tribunal to examine whether the school breached guidelines on ‘collective worship’.

This is the first time a school in Northern Ireland has been called before an independent tribunal of this kind.

Due to the nature of the assembly, the police are also investigating the matter.

During the assembly which took place in May 2013 some staff at the school claimed an invited speaker had expressed anti-educational and homophobic views.

A spokesperson for the police said that they were looking into the matter.“I can confirm that police are investigating a hate crime allegation in relation to an incident at a school in the Banbridge area during May 2013,” the spokesperson said.

The school stressed the opinions expressed by the speaker, believed to be a local Baptist Minister, do not reflect the views or opinions of the school.