Popular science teacher Nigel Studdart has been sacked by Pompallier Catholic Collegeâ€™s Board of Trustees after supporting students who silently protested the principalâ€™s column in a school newsletter railing against same-sex marriage.
Louisa Wall says the fact that the principal is opposed and used the school newsletter as the vehicle to express those views shows a marked lack of understanding about what the bill is trying to achieve, pointing out itâ€™s about equality and non-discrimination against two consenting citizens who want a license from the state to marry.
â€śThe principal's religious views on marriage are unaffected by the Bill and there should be some acknowledgement that the principal's personal actions have set off a chain reaction from students in the first instance that has then affected Nigel Studdart's career options as he stood in solitary with students,â€ť she says.
â€śThis is particularly disappointing when his skills as a teacher are clearly excellent.â€ť
While she says there is some difference with the school being religious and of special character, â€śI don't think in these days of integrated schools and given this school does receive some form of state funding, that advocating against equality and non-discrimination and supporting discriminatory laws is what schools and a principal should be promoting.â€ť
She adds: â€śObviously some of the schoolâ€™s students agreed supported by their teacher.â€ť
Wall points out that the Charter and Strategic Plan of Pompallier Catholic College includes three Marist community values, the second of which is: "equity, justice and respect for all people's...".
â€śClearly the students from the school practice what Pompallier preaches and so did Mr Studdart,â€ť she says.