Saturday, September 27, 2008

Priest dismisses school row over holy medal as 'storm in a teacup'

THE school at the centre of a miraculous medal row yesterday insisted it never had any issue with the wearing of such medals.

It broke its silence following claims a miraculous medal was confiscated from a 16-year-old student at the school.

The fifth-year pupil at FCJ Secondary School in Bunclody, Co Wexford, was reported to have had the small medal confiscated after being told on two previous occasions to remove it while in school.

Last night, local parish priest Father Aidan Jones dismissed the row as a "storm in a teacup" and said the incident was not about the medal but about the chain it was attached to.

The boy's mother claimed he had been wearing the medal since it was given to him by his grandmother as a First Holy Communion present nine years ago. He had worn it every day since until he was recently told on two occasions to remove it. When he forgot -- the medal was confiscated, she told her local newspaper.

In a brief statement yesterday, school principal Frances Threadgold said their policy was never to discuss the welfare, conduct or discipline of any individual student with outside parties.

"We wish to clarify, however, that this school does not have and has never had any issue with the wearing of a miraculous medal," she added.

Fr Jones, who had promised to investigate the matter after learning about it earlier this week, said he found there was nothing in it.

"It's a storm in a teacup and of no significance," he told the Irish Independent. "It's not about the medal. It's about the chain the medal was attached to. If he'd buttoned his shirt, it wouldn't have been seen."

The school has a no jewellery policy and Fr Jones said the problem arose because there was some sort of chain attached to the medal.

"For health and safety reasons most schools don't allow students to wear things like chains," said Fr Jones.

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(Source: II)

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