According to the National Post, a teacher in British Columbia was fired from a "posh" private high school after offhandedly mentioning “a difference between people’s private morality and the law."
“I find abortion to be wrong,” he said to his students to point out a fair example, “but the law is often different from our personal opinions.”
That was all he reportedly said, but that's all it took to cause one student and a couple of her friends to not return after the 5 minute break. The 12th grade female student apparently went straight to the administrator's office and informed the person in charge that she was "triggered," and felt "unsafe."
What followed is best detailed by the National Post.
What happened to the teacher over the ensuing few days sounds like something out of the Cultural Revolution in Mao’s China, where people were subjected to what were known as ideological struggle sessions, forced to “confess” to various imagined sins before large crowds, and roundly denounced.
Immediately after the student complained to the administrator, the teenager came, with a teacher at her side as support, to confront him in a public area of the school.
She pressed for an apology, but the teacher resisted, because, he said, it would set a dangerous precedent for a teacher to be reamed out in the presence of a colleague.
“When I didn’t show contrition,” he said, “I was summoned upstairs and grilled by two administrators who told me my job was on the line.”
Now panicking — he has a family to support and had just recently returned to teaching after several years in business with a relative — he apologized profusely and promised to apologize the next day to the offended student.
Instead, the school had an administrator take over the class for a day, whereupon, he was told, they would all discuss what went wrong in his absence. He would be invited back to “hear the grievances and offer an apology. It was clear I must do this successfully or I would be terminated.”
The rest of the day, the teacher in question had "white-knuckled" it through the rest of the day, trying to be very careful in the rest of his classes not to say anything offensive, having a family to take care of at home and needing the job. According to the article most of the students supported him, however this one student was all that was needed to decide whether or not he kept his job.
When he did finally get the opportunity to apologize, the told the student that she was very bright and engaging, and that he had recently told her father that during a parent-teacher conference. This in turn caused the student to storm off in tears because his apology was "too personal."
The school then took steps.
On Nov. 30, he showed up at the school, was retrieved by an administrator and taken to the “head” of school, the private school equivalent of a principal.
He was told he “could no longer continue in the classroom,” and was offered a short-term medical disability top-up for employment insurance.
He was then escorted down the hall and off the premises.
To the man's character, even after all this, he refuses to to give up his identity, or the name of his school.
“They torched me,” he said, “but I’m reluctant to damage the brand … So many kids who would otherwise fall through the cracks … are valued and helped here."