The Local, August 5, 2014
A newly-hired teacher in southern Sweden had her contract terminated after the school discovered anti-Muslim posts that she had written on the internet.
The teacher was meant to start working this August at the Montessori school in Kalmar, but after the school principal took a good look online she decided to end the already-signed contract due to the teacher’s openly racist views.
The principal, Ann-Sofie Stensdotter, told Sveriges Radio that the teacher’s extremely negative opinions about Muslims and “illegal immigrants” go against the school’s values.
She added that the school will begin looking at what job seekers write on the internet in advance to avoid hiring people who are actively fighting for values not in line with the school’s code.
The teacher published several video clips on her Facebook page where people, allegedly Muslims, engage in such acts as animal abuse. She had also commented on several of her posts, writing that “these people are God’s punishment” for Sweden becoming a secular nation.
Another picture of a thin, old white person and a well-fed dark person was captioned with claims that “illegal immigrants” take all the government’s money, leaving nothing to Swedish pensioners.
Hanna Oxell, front desk manager at Wise recruitment agency, told The Local that workers at her agency usually check online to see if the person interviewed matches the person online.
“We want to see if it strengthens the image of the person we are recruiting,” she continued.
Stensdotter stressed that the biggest problem was not the teacher’s views, however, but the strength and openness with which she shared them. The teacher’s extreme views against those with Muslim backgrounds would be clear to students, Stensdotter said.
In a report by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and Bisnode about how Swedish employers look up potential candidates, 75 percent were revealed to have some kind of policy in place for background checks on job seekers.
About 45 percent search their candidates on Facebook, and nearly 40 percent use search engines like Google.
“It’s not that common, but companies tend to say no to job-seekers in serious cases,” Oxell told The Local. “For example when their opinions doesn’t match the company’s values.”