Hundreds defend Michigan high school teacher after post on social media

Post on community Facebook group questioned whether Nick Popadich’s appearance was setting a good example
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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GRAND BLANC, Mich. (WJRT) - A Grand Blanc High School teacher’s profile photos are causing controversy in a community Facebook group.

One person’s mean comment drew a strong reaction with hundreds speaking out in the teacher’s defense, which he didn’t expect.

Nick Popadich is an English teacher at Grand Blanc High School. Colorful is the perfect word to describe this family man and father of two.

But apparently on social media, someone didn’t like the make up that adorned his face, the blue lipstick or maybe the oversized sunglasses or nose ring.

“Yes sometimes I wear make up and express myself in a certain way,” Popadich said.

He didn’t see the actual post on the Grand Blanc Residents Uncensored page on Facebook, but many others did.

“Once I got back to my phone, I got all these texts that were saying -- they were warning me like Nick, you gotta check this out. Somebody’s bashing you on social media,” Popadich said.

The post read, “Is it true this man teaches at Grand Blanc High School? This is not acceptable as a role model for kids easily influenced.” Popadich does not know the person who created the post.

An overwhelming deluge of support and love followed for hundreds more -- some who Popadich knows and many who he’s never met.

“At first, it was just that heart palpitation -- kind of like, oh what’s going on. And then it was just that pleasant surprise of hearing everyone sending me well wishes,” he said.

One Facebook user said they love it and celebrate it in their household. Another user simply said, “Say you’re homophobic without saying you’re homophobic.”

Popadich also had his own words regarding those hateful ideas, saying he will not tolerate it. He said an equity and inclusion committee would be important for the school community.

“Teachers need to represent every student, and we have plenty of people that look a certain way,” Popadich said. “But we also need to have other people that are going to be there for kids and be a role model for kids that do feel differently or are going to express themselves in a different way.”

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