28 September 2018
…cites death threats, resentment
ST JOHN’S College Deputy Headmaster Dr Neal Hovelmeir, who recently sparked outrage after revealing his sexuality as a gay, has resigned.
In a letter of resignation tendered to the school board, Dr Hovelmeir said he decided to quit and save himself from further humiliation after various stakeholders indicated they were not ready to work with him.
“I have to fully accept that I have no idea of the force of anger and resentment such a declaration would make, but I would like it known that I am a man who has the utmost respect for people who have strong views along the line of custom, tradition, religion and other values.
“I am deeply apologetic for any distress I have caused and the manner in which I acted on Friday.
“I ask for forgiveness and understanding for the magnitude of this insult,” he said.
Dr Hovelmeir said he also resigned as he feared for his life and safety.
“In the past few days, I have unfortunately come under vitriolic attack from various quarters.
“I have been in receipt of death threats as well as threats of physical danger to myself and pets.
“It has also been made clear to me that certain stakeholders are prepared under any circumstances to have me remain in my position at ST John’s to the extent that they have launched legal challenges, made ultimatums and vowed under any circumstances to see me dismissed even by means of intimidations and the manufacture of fabricated evidence against me to see me face a wrath of spurious allegations,” he said.
Dr Hovelmeir said he decided to quit to save himself from further embarrassment.
“For my own sense of integrity, I will not submit myself to a shame trial or investigation to these individuals, the outcome which would have already been determined regardless of actual circumstances.
“It is for this reason and with a very heavy heart that I have come to realise that my current position as Deputy Headmaster is now untenable and I hereby tender my resignation with immediate effect.
“I have loved to serve this institution, loyally, proudly and professionally for the past 15 years.
“The students we produce are men of real character who go on to make a significant contribution to the world they live in.
“I wish every student the very best of success and I know with some lame conviction that every single student at the college knows the value of my integrity; an integrity I now seek to preserve at all costs.
“As I said before, I am intensely private person and I ask now for the peace top move on in my life in a manner which is free from persecution and which is far from all citizens,” he said.
The former deputy head said he will always be available to help students should they need his expertise.
“I have fortunately prepared my examination classes to the best of my ability and I will remain available to them in a personal capacity should they wish to engage me for further revision and tuition.
“I would like to thank the ladies and gentlemen of my sixth form for being excellent, role models of leadership and decorum at all times.
“I wish them and all other public candidates the very best of luck for their upcoming examinations,” said Dr Hovelmeir.
He also thanked school board and students for their support during his stint at the college.
“I valued working with my sixth formers and appreciate the respect they have afforded me.
“I would like to thank headboy Cameron Buttler for his loyalty and support as well as Simba Wazara and Ezra Van Rooyen, one of the finest tennis captains I have worked with in my time at the college,” he said.
He also extend his gratitude to the school’s headmaster, Cavaliere Corrado Trinci along with fellow members of staff for their support.
Despite Dr Hovelmeir tendering his resignation, parents and guardians with child at the school still insist that investigations should be carried out to find whether there are victims of sexual assault or not over the years.
Prior to his resignation, the situation was still tense at the school for the greater part of the week with the majority of parents threatening to withdraw their students from the school.