This past week, one English headteacher has endured a chaotic mixture of nationally televised controversy, relentless internet abuse and even profound vocal support, following his decision to rename campus buildings that have long been titled after problematic historical figures.
Lee Hill, the headteacher at East Yorkshire's Howden Junior School, first made waves when he announced on Twitter that Howden buildings would no longer be named after men like Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake--explorers holding biographies dotted with slave trading and the ruthless killing of indigenous people.
The new names, Hill promised, will instead honor modern trailblazers like Greta Thunberg, Marcus Rashford, and Malala Yousafzai, Hull Live reported.
Hill's decision to change the names of houses came after a student voiced her discomfort with the current names, which openly celebrate Britain's history of colonization.
Not surprisingly, the move embroiled Hill in controversy, with negative commentary coming not only from strangers on the internet, but influential voices like Good Morning Britain's Piers Morgan.
While criticizing Hill, Morgan even took shots at sacred territory: his look.
"Next it'll be Winston Churchill with this guy, old tattoo boy, he'll be cancelling Churchill. He'll be cancelling everybody for being despicable, rather than teaching children about our history,"
And Morgan also had choice words for the figures Hill proposed as new names.
"I can tell them all, enjoy your moment, because trust me, in 30 years time, someone's gonna want you cancelled."
But as Hull Live went on to report, plenty of people threw their support behind Hill for both his recent decision and his long track record of committed educating.
Facebook comments were glowing.
"He's a fantastic teacher and has done nothing but great things for my kids' school."
"All he did was change the names to more current times - not rewrite history."
One parent empathized with the current pressures Hill's had to overcome.
"I look back at when I was at school and teachers were so old, I'm glad to see new fresh young teachers coming through.
"I don't think people realise how much patience you actually need to be a teacher. I couldn't do it. This lockdown has taught me that and probably 80 per cent of parents who have had to teach at home.
"I'm thankful that people still want to teach as it's hard work. Be grateful we have teachers. I think he sounds great."
Another emphasized his focus.
"I can only go on my own personal experience of my son in his school and quite honestly I can stand for the vast majority of parents and the community that, as a headteacher, he is outstanding.
"He turned around my son's whole attitude and school life, he has climbed over all the Covid hurdles and still put the children's best interests at heart in every way he possibly could."
One person even called out Morgan's low blow.
"I don't think it is as dramatic as everyone is making out - so what if they are different?
"I think the headteacher at Howden Junior School is doing a brilliant job, my sister loves going to school and learns all about British history - and history from other cultures - as well as current events."
"It's bang out of order to judge someone on their tattoos, does that affect his teaching ability? I don't think it does."
Unfortunately, even consistent support like that wasn't enough to stem the tide of ugly internet abuse Hill received after the story exploded.
He was forced to lay low and stay off social media, probably so he could continue teaching while everyone else obsesses over him on Twitter.
After @TheSun's story attacking him for changing the names of school houses, headmaster Lee Hill has had to delete… https://t.co/DgWerBSzTI— The Sun Apologies (@The Sun Apologies)1614091332.0
Off the internet, Hill has gathered even more support for his long-term commitment to students.
He's been nominated for "key worker of the year" in Hull Live's 2021 Heart of East Yorkshire Awards, owing in large part to his hard work to raise £20,000 in donations for his school and wider community.
Clearly, Piers Morgan commentary or not, Lee Hill knows how to maintain focus on the things that matter.