From Iceland — Fired Teacher Appealing To Teachers' Union

Fired Teacher Appealing To Teachers’ Union

Published July 17, 2012

A school teacher who was fired for the anti-gay posts he wrote on his blog is appealing his case to the teacher’s union, and has also received the emotional support of Davíð Oddsson.
As reported, Snorri Óskarsson was sent on six months leave from Brekkuskóli in Akureyri after his blog was discovered. The blog’s writings, among other things, lashes out against homosexuals. Snorri contends that he is only quoting from the Bible, and exercising his right to freedom of expression. Last week, he was officially relieved of his duties.
Vísir now reports that Snorri is appealing the decision to the Icelandic Teachers’ Union. He maintains his right to self-expression, regardless of his job.
“Shouldn’t you have the right to say things, even if you’re saying something stupid?,” he asked reporters. “There is no certainty in many things, about what the right thing is and what the conclusion is. If we mean to silence all questions, discussions, doubts, ponderings and claims, then I think Icelandic society is headed for a bad place.”
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. Many parents had called for his dismissal.
Snorri has also garnered the moral support of Davíð Oddsson, DV reports, in the form a column he wrote in Morgunblaðið, the newspaper he co-edits. There, Oddsson maintains that gay rights have made many advances in a short amount of time in Iceland, which most would agree is a good thing. However, not everyone is happy with this, and “they, who stand by this position, have every right to their opinions, and express them publicly,” adding that the number of people who believe homosexuality can be healed are in the minority.
Snorri has not picked an exact date for his appeal, but he has five months to do so before the matter is final.

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