A Welsh teacher has been awarded almost $1,000,000 after being fired for hooking up with two teenagers from Grindr. Somewhere Mary Kay Letourneau is fuming.
Matthew Alpin was fired from his position as the headteacher at Tywyn Primary School in South Wales in 2016 after school officials learned he had had sex with two 17-year-old boys he’d met on Grindr. An investigation was performed, and the school’s governors accused Alpin of “behavior bringing the school into disrepute, conduct incompatible with the role of the headteacher, both which seriously undermined the trust and confidence of the school in its headteacher,” according to The Guardian.
But as the age of consent in the U.K. is 16, Alpin didn’t technically do anything illegal — just gross. So he challenged the school’s ruling with the Employment Appeals Tribunal, saying he was subjected to “unfair dismissal and sexual orientation discrimination.” Alpin won, and while the school later appealed the tribunal’s decision, it was upheld. The school was ordered to pay Alpin £696,000 in damages — just over $900,000.
When deciding his case, the tribunal “constructed two hypothetical heterosexual comparators in Mr. Aplin’s position” and found that they would have been given more leeway than Alpin.
The tribunal decided that Alpin’s “career shows the claimant to be an individual who was dedicated to working in the education sector and someone who was not only ambitious but effectively so.” It concluded, “The claimant was therefore a well-qualified and experienced school manager with extensive teaching experience.”
The tribunal also claimed that Alpin was treated so severely because of his sexual orientation, and that he was being “deliberately undermined” in his search for new work. Now at least he can support himself while he searches for a new permanent position and afford Grindr Premium.