Comhairle na nÓg 31 youth councils across the country
giving young people a voice on local services & policies

#TeachMeAsMe – Individuality Campaign

#TeachMeAsMe is an online campaign to promote the importance of respecting individuality in schools. The campaign was formally launched by Minister Katherine Zappone in Temple Bar Gallery and Studios on 7th October 2019. The idea for the campaign came from members of the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive who wanted to create a positive campaign to inspire schools to improve the way in which they respect and celebrate individuality.

Background to the Campaign

The Comhairle na nÓg National Executive has been working on the topic of Equality in Schools which came from Dail na nÓg 2017. They chose to focus on Individuality as one of the main areas of this topic that was most important to them.  They decided to develop this campaign for individuality in schools calling for fair and universal school rules and asking schools to allow more individuality in student appearance. They believe that individuality is essential for young people for their personal and cultural development.

This is what they would like to see happen in schools:

  • That the same uniform rules would apply to both boys and girls and that schools would allow for more gender-neutral clothes.
  • That more self-expression would be allowed, for example the freedom to choose the length, colour and style of their hair, to wear piercings or have facial hair etc…
  • To allow for more diverse and less strict uniform codes that take into account student’s cultural and religious beliefs, i.e. young Muslim women who are not allowed to wear their head scarf in school grounds or traveller young women who are not allowed to wear their jewellery.
  • To create a more accepting environment for students to develop as individuals

They would like to see less focus on students’ appearance. Their key message is that ‘our appearance has nothing to do with the way we learn’.

As part of the campaign, they ran a video competition in October to find Ireland’s best examples of how young people are empowered to embrace their individuality in schools. The videos or photographs reflected what individuality means to students and what their schools have done to promote it and acknowledge schools that have been proactive in providing a space for individuality. Here are some of the sample videos and images.