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Thursday, June 20, 2024
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STUDENT DISTURBANCES AT ANNE MARIE RIVIER CATHOLIC SCHOOL ‘RESOLVED’

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By Olimatou Coker

The authorities at Anne Marie Rivier, a Catholic school in Brikama where students reportedly staged a walkout protest against an alleged decision to restrict Muslim prayers on school grounds, yesterday told The Standard that the matter has been amicably resolved and the school is back to normal.

Our reporter who visited the school found a very calm, peaceful and normal learning environment.

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A senior official, who would only identify herself as ‘owner’ of the school, emphasized that the ‘issue has been resolved and laid to rest’. “This is no longer an issue and it should be left like that,” she said.

According to reports sourced from parents and people close to the school administration, the school had allegedly decided to ban prayers at the premises   even during break.

“We the parents are called today for a meeting about the issue because some of the children involved were suspended and there was a protest by the students in the upper grades,” one parent told online platform WhatsOnGambia.

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Another parent alleged that students who attempted to pray in the school were beaten and their head covers taken from them. The matter generated a heated exchange on social media with many expressing outrage over the alleged decision by the school.

However, others begged for understanding, arguing that since no Muslim-owned school would allow Christian religious mass in their school, Christian schools should also enjoy the right not to accept Muslim prayers in their premises. In between are voices which called for restraint and understanding from both sides for the maintenance of the continuous harmonious existence between the two religions. “It is very good news that the matter has been resolved and I would like to thank the school authorities for solving this problem,” a senior citizen commented.

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