Pupils punished after not going to Mass and leaving school
A Catholic school near Motherwell has handed out detentions to about 50 pupils who failed to go to a Mass.
The service at Taylor High School on Friday 30 September was attended by the Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Toal.
Some pupils did not take part and left the school. North Lanarkshire Council said the detentions were for truanting.
In June, a United Nations committee called for laws requiring compulsory attendance at school religious services to be scrapped.
About 50 senior pupils at Taylor High School, in New Stevenston, were disciplined after they turned up for school in the morning but were absent for the annual Patron's Day Mass in the afternoon.
The Mass was a memorial service for two teachers who had died earlier in the year and also celebrated Saint Teresa.
It is understood a letter was sent to the parents of pupils about a week before the service on 30 September indicating that all pupils were expected to attend and no concerns were raised with the school prior to the event.
Nicola Daley, acting head teacher at the Roman Catholic school, said: "Our entire school held its annual Patron's Day Mass on Friday September 30, with Bishop Joseph Toal as its principal celebrant.
"The theme for the celebration was Saint Teresa of Calcutta (formerly Mother Teresa) and highlighted her work with the poor.
"It was also a memorial service for two members of our staff who died in May 2016 after giving years of service to the school.
"Their invaluable contribution to the school community was highlighted during the service.
"Regrettably, a small number of pupils, who had attended school in the morning, opted to truant in the afternoon and miss the service.
"The pupils have been subject to school discipline as a consequence of their actions."