Zimbabwe Gay teacher resigns after death threats from parents

Zimbabwe Gay teacher resigns after death threats and pressure from parents.

Neal Hovelmeier, a sixth form head teacher at the school came out to his students last week attracting a huge barrage of attacks from all corners of the country and parents of students at the school.

School authorities said that the teacher was encouraged to resign as a Zimbabwean newspaper was planning on outing Mr Hovelmeier, the school’s chairman wrote in a letter.

Some parents threatened legal action against him in a country where homosexual acts are illegal.

“I will not submit myself to a sham trial,” Mr Hovelmeier wrote in his resignation letter.

The teacher, who has worked in the elite school for 15 years, apologised for the distress caused by revealing his sexuality, saying it has since led to “death threats as well as threats of physical danger to myself and my pets”.

The following day, a law firm hired by some of the parents threatened legal action against the school if its board did not resign.

It said the teacher’s decision to come out “has no place whatsoever in a school environment where they are minors, who look up to your staff as their life models as they exercise their role”.

They also cited the country’s Section 73 criminal law that criminalises gay sex, and said that their clients therefore reserved “a right to place criminal charges against your staff member”.

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