Hannah The Campaigner

We are not protestors by nature but yesterday took to the streets of Belfast with many other concerned parents to protest against plans by the Education Authority to close seven special needs schools in the Greater Belfast area and merge them into three ‘super schools’ which would be created to cater for students with physical disabilities and learning difficulties.

Our daughter, Hannah, has been attending one of these schools, Fleming Fulton, since she was three years old. Hannah was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and is a wheelchair user. We were very proud of Hannah yesterday as she spoke at the gates of Belfast City Hall in front of hundreds to express her opposition to the proposed closures. Here are some of her words.

‘I was born with spina bifida basically my legs don’t work but my brain does and that’s thanks to the hard work and dedication of my parents, doctors, teachers and workers at my school. I have been going to Fleming Fulton since just before my third birthday, it is like my second home, I have made the best of friends that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

If the Education Authority goes through with what it is planning I will be separated from my friends and will have to go to a different school which I don’t want to happen. I love my school the way it is and don’t want it to change.’

Fionnuala and I are proud of all the kids but Hannah took the bar to a new level yesterday. Sometimes you have to stand up to the faceless government mannequins who put cuts before kids and who deny our most vulnerable young people the education and health care they are entitled to. Hannah deserves better and she spoke out for herself and her classmates today. She made us very proud parents.

This is a full recording of Hannah’s speech if you would like to hear it.

25 thoughts on “Hannah The Campaigner

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  1. I hope your voices don’t go unheard and you win this. I wish you luck in finding more kind people like you who can help with your mission. This is a great victory for your family. I see you thought your kids well. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hannah’s speech was awesome! She is amazing and is so self assured. Very few people her age would be able to speak out like that even if they had no disabilities. I know you are so proud and you both should be congratulated on raising such a wonderful person!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I began to acquire disabilities much later in life than Hannah did, but because I’ve lived on both sides of the fence, I can testify that school consolidations are rarely, if ever, a good idea, whether students are able-bodied or not. Bigger is not necessarily better, because it’s usually based on a mistaken belief that economy of scale is more important and more efficient than local control and governance of resources and methods. Moreover, children herded together in “super schools” are put at risk for grave physical and psychological troubles that are too numerous to list in this small space. Best wishes for an increase in support for the cause, and for the defeat of the unthinking bureaucracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Go, Hannah! Way to be brave and stand up for what you believe in 🙂 I really hope they listen to you and all the others like you who absolutely deserve to have the care and education that is just right for them! It seems to seldom that the people in charge actually listen to the people they’re actually affecting with their decisions. I am certain that your passion and God’s power will make all the difference for you and your school. Very Well Done Sister!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing! I prayed that they would hear and heed your call. They are also people and part of a community. They are talented and God loves them.


  6. Congratulations to Hannah. She is very brave. A testimony to her dedicated and loving parents and a good school. I pray that this action will get the government’s attention and they will make the best decision.


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