A Leap of Faith
Northern Ireland has been rocked by the “The Troubles” since the 1960’s. Ongoing atrocities such as bombings and killings have affected the lives of most Protestant and Catholic families. Now all they pray for and want is peace. They want an end to the violence and a chance to live in peace with those from the “other” community. For some parents in Northern Ireland, education seems to be a hope for a peaceful life. Education is responsible for molding the views of children therefore parents in Northern Ireland have come up with the notion of integrated schools. In these schools students are taught about other cultures, able to interact with people from different cultures, build an understanding of each other, and given the opportunity to discuss what is going on around them
Northern Ireland has been in conflict for the past twenty-five years. The bitterness between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland has resulted in this long conflict which is known as the Irish “Troubles”. The name fits the time, for bombing killing and out right bitterness between the two religious classes is self-evident through out Northern Ireland.
The Troubles began in the 1960s as an attempt at peaceful reform from Catholic grievances. It was intended to be a peaceful reformation but Unionist saw it as an attempt to cause chaos in Northern Ireland. They in turn reacted violently. During the following years tensions arose between the Loyalists and Unionists. Protestant and Catholic families who once lived in side by side were forced out of their neighborhoods by sectarian violence. Many homes were burned down in order segregate the once mixed neighborhoods. Most moved to segregated areas, where only Protestants or only Catholics lived. British troops were moved into the scene in order to help stabilize the chaos. They built borders between Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods in order to keep the other out. The Provisional Irish Republican Army soon arose along with other Protestant Paramilitaries. The violence between the two sides has plagued Northern Ireland since. There have been attempts at peace, but they never lasted. In 1994 there was a cease-fire which lasted 18 months. It sprung some hope in the people of Northern Ireland. About 18 months after that another cease-fire came about. The attempts at peace have given some relief to the people of Northern Ireland but despite that, there is still segregation, which leads to bitterness and conflict between the Protestants and Catholics.
In helping promote peace certain families in Northern Ireland have opted to send their children to integrated schools. In integrated schools, Catholic and Protestant children are taught side by side unlike the traditional Catholic schools or state-funded Protestant schools. Many feel that if children are taught to interact with those from the other community, as they grow up they will not have hostility or bitterness...