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Chilliwack trustee Heather Maahs censured again over inclusion

Board says formal censure was due to trustee’s ongoing ‘public opposition to inclusive practices’
A photo of the school board with Heather Maahs, David Swankey, Margaret Reid, Teri Westerby, Willow Reichelt, Richard Procee, and superintendent Rohan Arul-Pragasam taken at G.W. Graham school on March 15, 2023. On Dec. 12 Maahs was censured again by the board for opposing its inclusion practices. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Chilliwack school trustee Heather Maahs has been censured again by the Chilliwack school board for contravening its inclusive policies and practices.

A statement released by Chilliwack board of education on Dec. 12 reads: “The Board of Education hereby issues a formal censure against Trustee Maahs for contravening Policy 130 – Trustee Code of Conduct.

“This action is taken in response to actions demonstrating her continued public opposition to inclusive practices that are endorsed by the Board of Education.”

Since the formal censure process involves in-camera meeting details that are not made public, the precise nature of the code contravention that led to this latest censure of Maahs has not been released by the board.

The Chilliwack Progress reached out to the trustee for a comment, and Maahs responded with an emailed statement:

“In the 15 years I’ve been a school trustee, parental rights have been a priority for me,” Maah wrote. “When I see an issue/article that I believe is important for parents to be informed of, I’ll raise it, just like I brought forward the Parental Rights policy that was unfortunately not passed.”

Maahs said she saw an article about school surveys asking students about their interests, pronouns and names “they preferred being used that they would keep secret from their parents.”

“I find it disappointing and troubling that this board considers the reposting of an article on social media page a censurable offence,” she concluded.

The last time Maahs was censured by the board was on March 16. The board said in a statement at that time that Maahs had not carried out “her duties faithfully, diligently or in a manner that inspired public confidence in the ability and integrity of the board.” It was also noted by the board that trustees had to accept “decisions of the board and support proposed actions in the implementation of a decision, regardless of holding an opposing position in debate or casting an opposition vote.”

The word “censure” can be defined as “a severe expression of disapproval,” often in a formal statement, as the school board did in issuing a public statement about the censure of a trustee.

RELATED: Heather Maahs responds to Chilliwack School Board censure

Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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