Teacher Sent On Leave For Anti-Gay Blog, Conservative MP Upset

14.2.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
A primary school teacher was sent on six months paid leave after his blog, which lashes out against homosexuality, was discovered. An MP for the Independence Party called the dismissal "violence and abuse of power".

RÚV reports that the teacher in question, Snorri Óskarsson, was sent on six months leave from Brekkuskóli in Akureyri after his blog was discovered. Snorri contends that he is only quoting from the Bible, and exercising his right to freedom of expression.

However, Sigurður Kristinsson, an associate professor at the University of Akureyri, said that while Snorri does indeed have freedom of expression, his blog is in violation of the teachers' code of ethics. Part of these ethics include showing all students equal respect, regardless of their sexual orientation. By writing as he did on his blog, Snorri was publicly condemning homosexuals, some of whom may very well be his own students, thereby breaking the ethics code.

Meanwhile, in parliament, conservative MP Árni Johnsen called the decision to put Snorri on leave "violence and abuse of power", DV reports. He called upon members of parliament to remember that freedom of expression is considered a fundamental right in Iceland.

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