Belfast Telegraph

Sectarian abuse forces teacher out

A teacher in Belfast has been forced to quit over sectarian intimidation.

Catherine Seeley, 25, was subjected to a litany of threats and online abuse because she is a Sinn Fein councillor. Threatening graffiti was daubed close to the Protestant school telling her to leave her post.

She taught at Belfast Boys' Model in the north of the city but the school said she had decided not to return.

"While acknowledging the support of the board (of governors), school staff and pupils, the teacher has decided not to return to her duties at Belfast Boys' Model," it added.

"As a result of this decision, Belfast Education and Library Board had initially explored a redeployment option within the board area.

"In accordance with the teacher's wishes however, it is now actively seeking a teaching redeployment position within another board area."

She represents part of Lurgan on Craigavon Borough Council in Co Armagh.

Pupils at the school rallied behind her and the principal and members of the board have also reinforced their support.

Her employment in the loyalist Ballysillan area was objected to by individuals from outside the school.

Democratic Unionist First Minister Peter Robinson said earlier this week n o one should work under threat.

"That is to be deplored and condemned and if people legitimately and, on merit, get jobs then they are entitled to work in that place in a peaceful environment," he added.

"There are wider issues, and I have heard them, but they cannot excuse any threats that are levelled against any employee in any business."

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