School head ‘broke equality laws’ by claiming teacher’s gay son is not ‘normal’
A headteacher has been found guilty of breaking equality laws – for suggesting a teacher’s gay son is not “normal”.
According to the Irish Times, teacher Bernie Marron took up a case against Church of Ireland school St Paul’s in Collooney, County Sligo.
Ms Marron has worked at the school for seven years – but says the school’s head made comments criticising her son’s sexuality.
She says the principal made the comments after her son spent an afternoon shopping for clothes – which the head insisted a “normal boy” would not do.
The tribunal also heard the principal took exception to the boy’s pink blazer and references to being gay in a valedictory speech – questioning what kind of mother Ms Marron is “to have a son like that”.
The principal denied all the allegations, which Ms Marron say the school failed to deal with adequately.
Ireland’s Equality Tribunal found in favour of the claim of discrimination based on sexual orientation – and also accepted Ms Marron’s claim she was harassed for being a non-practising Catholic, and not a member of the Church of Ireland.
Ms Marron said she was not seeking any financial compensation, but the tribunal awarded her €3,000 (£2200) damages.
The school was also ordered to undertake equality training covering harassment and discrimination.
Ms Marron told the newspaper: “I was hurt and angry by the experience. No one should be subjected to judgment about their parenting or their son’s right to be themselves.”