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Magnitogorsk teacher forced to resign for supporting LGBT movement

2 September 2013 

Source: (info
A history and social studies teacher from a school in Magnitogorsk, the second largest city in Chelyabinsk region, became the target of bullying at the start of the summer because of her support for the LGBT community and resigned from her teaching position on the eve of a new school year, reports

The “Magnitogorsk Socio-Political Centre” reported the resignation on 1st September, along with a link to the former teacher’s social network page. “I feel a great sense of relief. A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders because the only way to keep my job would have been to strike a bargain with my conscience,” the woman wrote. 

She also said that after she returned from vacation at the start of August she had a conversation with the school principal. The principal said that he did not want to sack her, but demanded the young teacher sever all her ties with gay social networks, stop adding information of this kind to her personal web page, and not take part in discussions on this subject. 

“This, in essence, would have meant betraying myself. And right there and then I made up my mind that my job as a teacher was not worth this price,” said the ex-teacher. Furthermore, she said that one of the parents made a complaint to the prosecutor’s office, in which she said that her underage son happened upon the young teacher’s social network page and had “been exposed to propaganda” (to quote the former teacher). 

“I repeat: I am not an LGBT activist, I repost things from groups on this theme and I write commentaries about these bits of news. That is not activism, just interest! And what was the result? The prosecutor’s office was the last straw, I handed in my resignation,” writes the teacher. “I want my life to belong to me. Yes, I got tired of the pressure, of the muttering behind my back, of the incomprehensible aggression that people, who I have never harmed, have shown.” 

In June of this year members of several homophobic groups on the social networking site “VKontakte” posted a message containing the teacher’s personal information and encouraged people to distribute it. Later, as one site that supports the LGBT movement reports, the teacher began to receive letters with insults, threats and demands to resign from the school voluntarily. 

Members of the organisation “Parents of Russia” who organised this harassment have no link to the school where the teacher worked, or to Magnitogorsk. The activists’ complaints even reached the school’s principal. But the school’s management did not at that stage see any cause to sack their colleague as the teacher’s personal views on sexuality in no way affected her professionalism and work with children.