Senator calls for single-sex schools to be scrapped
Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has called for single-sex schools to be abolished in Ireland.
The Labour Senator, a former girls' school principal, today equated sending boys and girls to gender-exclusive schools with segregation.
"It is time for us to genuinely reevaluate the justification, if any, or segregating our children along gender lines in so many of our nation’s schools," he wrote in an op-ed on The Journal.
He framed his argument in the context of gender equality and the current feminist movement.
"At a time when women are speaking up louder than ever before about sexual violence and intimidation, we have a moral responsibility to examine what in our society needs repairing," he wrote.
Senator Ó Ríordáin cited several studies to make his case, claiming co-education leads to "better social outcomes".
Dividing kids along gender lines in schools doesn't reflect the real world and leads to gender stereotypes and restricted subject choice, he argued.
He proposed that Ireland set a target to make all primary schools co-educational in the next ten years.
The senator has a background in education. He was a principal of St Laurence O'Toole's Girls' Primary School on the north side of Dublin city for 11 years.
"I loved every second of it," he said of his time as a teacher.
"But no one should be frightened of a debate."