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Northland teacher's sacking met with outrage

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 20th September 2012

Nigel Studdart on Close Up
Students and parents from a Northland Catholic school are upset and outraged at the firing of a Northland teacher who stood up for marriage equality, with talk of a protest already swirling.

Pompallier Catholic College science teacher Nigel Studdart says the school’s Board of Trustees last night fired him, after a lengthy meeting.

He was initially stood down for supporting students who organised a Facebook group and silent rainbow wristband-wearing protest against the principal’s stance against marriage equality in a school newsletter.

“I slept well last night with a clear conscience and I will face my tomorrows in the knowledge that I could not in all conscience have acted any differently,” he says.

“I can’t believe it, just like that my favourite teacher is gone,” one student has written in response to the Facebook post.

“I'm so annoyed about this, it's such a big loss to Pompallier I never had you as my teacher but my peers have and have all told me how fabulous you are. I hope everything turns out okay Mr Studdart best of luck,” another writes, while “there goes the best teacher in the school,” adds another.

“The whole family is outraged by this,” says another student. “The whole family are supporting you with any decision you make. Thanks to you I felt so confident in my chem and bio paper today! You were the best teacher!”

Another student says “I find the whole 'learning excellence for life' ironic when they fire the best teacher right before exams

The parent of a student says she’s now considering moving her son to another school. “We are all very, very upset about this - I know for a fact, some of the BOT Trustees members do not agree with Mr Stantons decision ... Pompallier has lost one of the best teachers they have .. we have no faith in Pomapllier College at all. As well as a fantastic teachetr, you are a wonderful man - you aren't the one who should be leaving that school.”

A second parent agrees with the comment, saying they are also considering moving their son to a different school.

There is plenty of talk of a protest on Facebook, with suggestions including glitter bombing the principal and a rally outside the next Board of Trustees meeting.

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