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Pupils and parents rush to defend male teacher who was slammed online for wearing colourful makeup

Lily Wakefield June 15, 2021
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English teacher Nick Popadich wearing makeup

English teacher Nick Popadich was told it wasn't "acceptable" for him to wear makeup. (Facebook/ Nick Popadich)

When a male teacher was told it wasn’t “acceptable” for him wear makeup, his community immediately jumped to his defence.

Nick Popadich is a father of two who loves colourful makeup and teaches English at Grand Blanc High School, Michigan.

But, during Pride Month, one local resident took to the community Facebook group “Grand Blanc Residents Uncensored” to share photos of the teacher’s rainbow looks, and wrote: “Is it true this man teaches at Grand Blanc High School?

“This is not acceptable as a role model for kids easily influenced.”

Popadich didn’t personally see the post, but told WJRT: “I got all these texts that were warning me like, ‘Nick, you gotta check this out. Somebody’s bashing you on social media.'”

Luckily, his local community in the small Michigan city jumped to his defence.

One resident responded to the woman’s hateful post: “Say you’re homophobic without saying you’re homophobic.”

Another local, one of Nick Popadich’s former students, shared her own post in the group: “We live in a time where self expression and self-love is not always applauded, a world where oppression and close-mindedness has always taken the lead.

“It is so important that we remind the world and our youth that it’s OK to be different. It’s OK to be you… Nick Popadich has been highly (positively) influential for many former GB students including myself.”

She said that she was “forever grateful” to have learned from the teacher, and added: “The former post which has now been deleted represents the ugliness that sadly still exists in the world, but the love and support in the comments was a reminder of the difficult (but necessary) work that’s been done and the direction we’re headed.

“Nick Popadich represents individuality, self-love, diversity, and uniqueness. They continue to create a safe space and be a safe person for all students and I think it’s important to spotlight on that and give credit where it’s due.”

The teacher explained that he wore makeup to express himself, but also to be a “role model” to queer kids.

He said: “Teachers need to represent every student. And we have plenty of people that look a certain way, but we also need to have other people that are going to be there for kids and be a role model for kids that do feel differently or are going to express themselves in a different way.”

Related topics: Homophobia, Michigan

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