From Iceland — Firing Of Teacher For Anti-Gay Blog Deemed Illegal

Firing Of Teacher For Anti-Gay Blog Deemed Illegal

Published April 15, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Julia Staples

The firing of a grade school teacher for writing an anti-gay blog has been deemed illegal by the Ministry of the Interior.

Snorri Óskarsson told DV that he received a letter from the ministry saying that his firing was “not based on points of view of substance.”

As reported, Snorri was initially 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 contended that he is only quoting from the Bible, and exercising his right to freedom of expression. Shortly thereafter, he was officially relieved of his duties.

“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.

School officials in Akureyri disagree with the ministry’s decision, but it is still uncertain if he will be hired back to work in his old school, be financially compensated, or something else entirely.

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