Bronwyn, Teacher. Canterbury, NZ.

I loved teaching and it had been my life, love and passion for 26 years. This is never the way I thought I would leave teaching. There is no dignity in being terminated from a job you love and are good at because one refuses to take part in a medical experiment with no long term safety data that neither prevents transmission or infection.

However sometimes in life you have to make difficult decisions. I cried many tears and had many sleepless nights making this decision. I feared losing my job.

I feared the judgment that may come from my friends and teaching colleagues. But in my heart, I knew that this was the right thing for me to do, and I could not go against what is right for me. I was given a choice of body sovereignty or a career. I chose my body. It was by far the scariest thing I've ever done. My husband is also a teacher. We have 3 children who we needed to support and who also were impacted due to losing their part-time jobs and not being able to compete in the sports which they loved and excelled at.

I was at school to teach during the lockdowns for essential workers children and for children who needed to be at school for their own safety and wellbeing. Then suddenly I became this weapon of destruction that was going to kill everyone and not allowed at school. I was not allowed to explain to the children and whanau of my class why I was no longer there and it was just all just swept under the carpet and not talked about. I am grateful to my principal that he did let me write a letter to the community in the school newsletter at the beginning of the following year as I felt I needed to do this to bring me some closure.

I could not drive past schools without crying and even now when I drive past the school I taught at it brings back a flood of emotions and I almost feel a sense of guilt like I have done something wrong and just don't think I could step foot in that school again. It was such a difficult and lonely time as my whole identity had been who I was as a teacher and there was a point where I was unsure if I would ever be truly happy again. We lost friends and were unable to attend family weddings.

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