Sectarian shock on Lesmahagow High Facebook site

Lesmahagow High School
Lesmahagow High School
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The hijacking of a Clydesdale secondary school’s Facebook site to promote a sectarian message has sparked disgust and anger.

People visiting the profile page for Lesmahagow High School were met with the sight of the Red Hand of Ulster with the message “proud to be a Prodi (sic)” underneath it.

As a state school run by South Lanarkshire Council, Lesmahagow High, like all other local schools, has long adopted a strong anti-bigotry policy in an attempt to finally stamp out the sectarianism once rife in Lanarkshire and the west of Scotland.

Although now far less prevalent than it once was, sectarianism still survives in isolated pockets, but it is now so rare that the invasion of a school site to promote it shocked those encountering it.

The matter was first brought to the Gazette’s attention by a Lesmahagow grandmother who attended the school in her youth. For understandable reasons, she has asked that her name and address not be published.

She said she had turned to this newspaper after failing to find anyone willing to take action to have the offending message removed.

She told us: “I don’t know how else to tackle this. I have asked the police for their advice, but they told me to report it to Facebook.”

Repeated attempts to do that also got her nowhere, leaving her frustrated.

She added: “This is really unpleasant and not good for our area.

“I think most folk around here will be upset by this. I hope highlighting this in this way will get some action.”

We duly contaced the education authority, South Lanarkshire Council, with the grandmother’s complaint and were thanked for alerting it to the situation.

It said it would do what it could to resolve the matter.

Des Dickson, the council’s head of education, told the Gazette:“Thank you for drawing this to our attention.

“Neither Lesmahagow High School nor South Lanarkshire Council has any connection with or control over this Facebook page.

“We have, however, reported it to Facebook as spam.”