From Iceland — Akureyri Mayor: Teacher Not Fired For Blog

Akureyri Mayor: Teacher Not Fired For Blog

Published July 19, 2012

Akureyri mayor Eiríkur Björn Björgvinsson denies that a school teacher with a virulently anti-gay blog was fired for his beliefs.
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.
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.
While Snorri maintains that he has the right to freedom of expression and that he was fired for his religious beliefs, Vísir reports that officially, his writings about homosexuality had nothing to do with his termination.
Akureyri mayor Eiríkur Björn Björgvinsson told reporters that it was out of the question that Snorri’s blog or religious beliefs contributed to his being fired. Rather, he was terminated because of job performance.
Snorri has chosen to appeal the decision to the Teachers’ Union. He has five months to do so before his firing is final.

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