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Irish students told to bring their own toilet paper

By Kevin Jess     Oct 6, 2009 in World
Students attending St. John's Girls National School in Carrigaline, Ireland have been asked to bring their own toilet tissue with them to school as part of a cost-cutting measure due to dwindling government funding.
School principal, Catherine O'Neill has confirmed to the Irish Independent that she had sent a memo home with students asking if the parents would occasionally send toilet paper and give it to the class teacher who would hand it out as needed.
The memo, as reported by the Independent, dated October 1 reads, Dear parent. From time to time we will request your daughter to bring in a toilet roll to her class teacher. These rolls will be specifically for your daughter's class and will be dispensed by the class teacher. We would also request that your daughter has tissues in her sack at all times. This is due to cutbacks. we are endeavouring to trim down expenses and ensure we use our grants towards the educational needs of your child.
O'Neill said, "We thought with this request that it wouldn't be a burden on families. We're just hoping to spend money on education," and that the students were not under any obligation to comply with the request, reported the Independent.
Ireland's budget has been hit hard by an economic downturn and education was not left off of the chopping block.
This particular move has angered parents who increasingly have been asked to shoulder the burden of educational expenses.
Peter Mullan, a spokesman for INTO, Ireland's largest teacher's union, said that schools across the country were "reeling" from the cutbacks reports the Guardian.
Mullan said that parents were being asked to hold fund raising events to upgrade computer systems and to purchase books.
In an interview with the Independent, Mr. Mullan said, "Parents were being asked to fund superficial things but now they're being asked to pay the core things. It's no longer a few books or computer equipment. It's now for basic running costs."
A Department of Education spokesman said that funding had actually been increased for the current school year and that "the school has not come to the department about any financial difficulty," reported the Independent.
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