Gay deputy headmaster resigns

HARARE - St John’s College deputy headmaster Neil Holvemeier who stirred controversy last week after announcing to students that he was gay has resigned from the school.

Holvemeier had told cheering students last week that he had been inspired to come out of the shadows and to openly declare his sexual orientation.

His confession, which followed media enquiries about his sexual orientation — after frenzied speculation and a flurry of complaints from some parents — received mixed responses from the school’s stakeholders.

In a resignation letter addressed to the education institution, Holvemeier said he feared for his life and harm that could befall his pets following numerous death threats from “various quarters”.

Holvemeier also took the chance to lay an apology to stakeholders of the elite education institution.

“I have been simply overwhelmed by the volume of support the St Johns community has so kindly afforded me in the past week since my announcement on September 21. I deeply appreciate every boy, parent, former student and member of the community who has taken off their time to offer me their understanding,” reads the letter.

“I also fully appreciate that my announcement has caused grievous and deep concern to a section of our community. I have to fully accept that I had no idea of the force of anger and resentment such a declaration would make.

“…I am a man with utmost respect for people who hold strong views along the lines of custom, tradition, religion and values. I am deeply apologetic for any distress I have caused…I ask for forgiveness and understanding for the magnitude of this insult.”

Holvemeier said he was aware that certain stakeholders no longer wanted him at the school to the extent that “they had launched legal challenges, made ultimatums and vowed under any and all circumstances to see him dismissed, even by means of intimidation and the manufacture of fabricated evidence against me to see me face a wrath of spurious allegations”.

His decision to hang his boots would also ensure that he does not go through trials or investigations, outcomes of which would already have been decided.

However, Holvemeier said he was open for private lessons with students that still wanted his assistance.

“I have fortunately prepared my examination classes to the best of my ability and I will remain available to them all in a personal capacity should they wish to engage me for further revision and tuition. The college will make provisions to offer them further support in my absence,” he added.

“I am likewise available to assist all students in whatever help of an academic nature I am able to give, also on a privately arranged basis.”

After Holvemeier “came out” last week the school’s headmaster Cav Trinci and his deputy A Sakala released a statement standing by him.

Comments (15)

Private lessons ?? , hell no. You are not a teacher and your name is in the sex predators' register from now on. We are not saying u should not be a bent , naah -do what you like away from young people and schools.

Good riddance - 28 September 2018

When will we Zimbabweans stop responding to anyone/anything that is different, with irrational hatred.

david taylor - 28 September 2018

I have to respond to this story once again. St Johns has lost a good teacher who obviously has integrity. Good teachers are hard to come by, and to hound out a teacher just because they are gay, is not right. The school, the students and their parents have lost a good teacher.

david taylor - 28 September 2018

What is the defination of good teacher ?. teaching excellence , excellence of character . ...or both ?

Good riddance - 28 September 2018

We dont want schools to be polluted. In some countries , children as young as 10 know things like how big a di*k is or they like s##king it and they have done it to their uncles etc. It happens in the west , it's their way of life. This man will not stop at saying he is gay....he is after something.

Good riddance - 28 September 2018

I don't have a child at this school and l am not a guy either but to force someone out of employement simply because he is a gay is rather too primitive. As long as this gay teacher is not going to orient or recruit these kids why should we be concerned with something that he is not practising in the classroom. There are a lot "immoral" things that teachers do as human beings can they be alienated on the strength that they could influence our children. How many of our children are being taught by teachers who are whores, witches, etc but surely as long as these things are not taken into a classroom why should it be a crime. In any case the decission by this teacher to disclose his sexual orientation is transparency and how do you know if all the teachers at this school and many others are not guys and lesbains. After all there are many things that our children are exposed to and accessible on the internet on smart phones which we as parents are buying our children. Zimbabweans need to come out of age and accept that culture is dynamic and to continue to bury our heads in sand will not take us anywhere.

Grade Two - 28 September 2018

but Zimbabweans we continue to out do ourselves. i am not a gay supporter but this teacher, there's not anywhere that says he preyed on the students or anyone for that matter. yet he is vilified for just coming out. if a teacher is gay does it then mean he is a student predator?.. lets learn to know the difference between sexual orientation and an abuser. i have been reading stories over the years about headmasters, teachers or school groundsmen raping, soliciting for sex from students, impregnating students etc, but the silence is deafening from that corner, which today makes a very loud outcry because of a mere announcement of preference.

Madzibaba - 28 September 2018

No matter how much we refuse to accept it, there are gay people out there. What has happened to this good teacher means that all gay people will now never ever come out , they now know it's an abomination to come out. The school may have misread the situation with the new political dispensation and thought people will now accept since uncle Bob is no longer on the scene.

Den - 28 September 2018

i thought being gay explains sexual orientation just like some men are straight...why suggest that gay teachers go out with children...and that straight men do not... or is it that it's a boys only school if it was a girls' or mixed sex school it wouldn't matter...or are suggesting that these people should live in their own world!!! that's cultural intolerance ..in some countries being an albino is a crime worth dieing for...and here being gay...!!!!

sndangana - 28 September 2018

I really wonder what people who support gays are made of. It is indded good riddance that this teacher has resigned. The teacher works with male students. He goes into a male toilet, seing male nake, and yet those are his kind of staff that he needs. I am a straight person, and so my organ erects if i see a naked female. This will happen if i were to be allowed to to use ladies toilets, where I would oftenly se them undressed. The same was happening with this gay teacher. Just imagine if he were training boys sports, where they fall and change dress in one room all of them, and this gay teacher is there. obviously he would be salivating, and will be tempted to arrange to prey on one innocent student. He must infact e investigated. Students must be encouraged to come out the Brett Kavanaugh way. I am sure we will open a can of worms. The world will never be convinced how a man can have appetitte for another man outside drug use. How can it be that among all organisms, only people are such queer. I a one of those who were ready to dra out of class the gay teacher. Some people say he was a good teacher, is he the only one who can be good? We have school who produce 30 'A' level points in Zimbabwe. Are such students taught by gay teachers? Please let us be reasonable. Never ever wil Zimbabwe accomodate such abominable acts of unhumanism.

Danayi Pazvagozha - 28 September 2018

At Pazvagozha - in some countries toilets are mixed because of limited space but hey people dont erect because of that....she does not need to strip all the clothes to poo or pee....and toilet seats are comparted and can be closed. Varungu pamwe vakasiyana nevanhu.

Usisi ule privacy - 28 September 2018

Gaycism will never end. Even in the west - they only say its OK on paper- but face the same abuse and intolerance like in Zim or Uganda. There is a limit on how far a person can rise in society if he is black for example , but also gay depending on where you hail. In London probably , never lived there though , you can be anything if you are gay...there are a lot of gay successes but then you cant say the same with other areas in the same country - eg Belfast I think etc....the only place that gay marriages are not allowed , or Russia. If you are a woman and gay its not the same like a guy who is gay.....you will always get some fake c**k shout/harassment or tom boy , by some nutso , yobs or any baddie that want to take a mickey. Its not easy. It will not go away.

Same as elsewhere - 28 September 2018

Zimbaz make a lot of noise about this issue when six people were killed you never uttered a word or make noise about it yet this trivial issue you make noise on it...Let get out priorities right.

Gabe - 28 September 2018

Even in Ireland-roi- where SSC can marry legally , its not easy for them to openly be themselves....unless they go to a gay bar of course. Its OK in Dublin but not really OK in Co Meath , Co Carlaw ,Co Wexford or Co tipperary. Its the same in rural EU. Its like a man wearing a red trouser in dover ???.

Gayphobs - 28 September 2018

There's nothing wrong with being gay. Problem is that he should have kept it to his circle not to tell kids at an assembly. I know at St Johns college, there are a number gay teachers including the headmaster and students - they accept it there. Being gay is something that cannot be changed.

Guvhey29 - 1 October 2018

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