Pro-life students increasingly have to fight against censorship attempts by fellow students and administrators.
But some teachers also are being attacked for even mentioning their opposition to abortion. Recently, a private school teacher in Canada said he was fired after briefly telling a group of students that he believes abortion is wrong.
The National Post reports a female student complained to the school administrators that she had been “triggered” by the comment. Several days later, the teacher – described as an “outstanding” educator by his colleagues – was fired from his job, the report states.
The 44-year-old teacher, who is unnamed in the report, taught a 12th grade law class at the Vancouver-area school. The report described the school as “posh” and “witheringly progressive.”
The teacher said he was talking to the class about criminal law and ethics when he mentioned abortion in passing.
“I find abortion to be wrong, but the law is often different from our personal opinions,” he told the students. He said, “It was just a quick exemplar, nothing more. And we moved on.”
The trouble began after the class came back from a five-minute break.
According to the report:
… several students didn’t return, among them a popular young woman who had gone to an administrator to complain that what the teacher said had “triggered” her such that she felt “unsafe” and that, in any case, he had no right to an opinion on the subject of abortion because he was a man.…
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.
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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.
However, he said his apology also offended the student. After administrators criticized him in front of a group of students, the teacher said he did apologize to the girl. He said he told her that she was bright and engaging, and he had told her father the same things on a recent parent-teacher night.
Apparently, this was “too personal” of an apology for the student, who stormed out of the class in tears, according to the report.
The teacher was fired on Nov. 30, the report states. He said school administrators told him that while he was an “outstanding teacher,” their first priority is “student safety.”
“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.”
The extent to which pro-lifers are being censored and harassed is concerning. Across the world, abortion activists are pushing governments to enact buffer zones that restrict pro-lifers from sidewalk counseling and protesting outside of abortion facilities.
And pro-life students who want to begin clubs in their high schools or colleges are being told that they can’t. Several weeks ago, a Scottish university’s student government voted to ban pro-life students from forming an official club, claiming the group would “harass” and “intimidat[e]” people.