The latest candidate to step forward to run for the Chilliwack school board on Oct. 20 said he wants to see “inclusivity for all” and a “quality, fact-based curriculum.”
This despite several social media posts expressing homophobic and transphobic views, and a belief in Bibilical creationism, often referred to as Young Earth creationism.
Darrell Furgason who has a PhD in religious studies and who has lectured at Trinity Western University, said he has been involved in education for 35 years, teaching in Australia, the U.S. and Canada.
“All Chilliwack students deserve the best education possible, and this means working with the best teachers to equip students with the academic abilities and critical thinking skills needed for success in today’s world,” he said in an announcement of his candidacy dropped off in hard copy to The Progress, but also posted on one of his Facebook pages, Worldview Studies Center.
And despite his desires to achieve academic excellence; inclusivity for all; quality, fact-based curriculum; and parents rights in education, it is among his postings on his Worldview Studies Center page where there are links to websites expressing Islamophobia, homophobia, and claims that the world is actually 6,000 years old.
“Theistic evolution is a wrong view of Genesis, as well as history, and biology. Adam & Eve were real people….who lived in real history….around 6000 years ago,” he posted on his page with a link to Creation.com.
“Evidence for Adam & Eve as the source of all human beings” he wrote in a post with a link to a website offering answers to Biblical questions.
“Canada is implementing Sharia law, to silence any criticism of Islam…..a political ideology!” he posted with a link to a website called Jihad Watch.
And on the issue of gender identity: “We must stop the push by the LGBTQ lobby and the public schools here in B.C. to indoctrinate our children via SOGI curriculum (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity),” he posts in another.
While his postings on social media are inflammatory, speaking of a clash of civilizations and other far right conspiracies, his school board candidacy press release included none of that.
In it, Furgason said he aims to help teachers improve the quality of local graduates so they have more options for further studies. He said “inclusivity for all” means all students should have an equal opportunity to learn with strategies to address different learning styles and abilities.
“Chilliwack students deserve the best. This also means addressing the educational needs of the increasing number of students from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds moving into the Chilliwack region.”
He touched lightly on the issue of SOGI stating that it’s the right and responsibility of parents to be involved in their children’s education, including assessing teacher resources, curricula or courses involving sexual practices, sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Dr. Furgason would promote the involvement of a qualified child psychologist to address any issues of gender dysphoria on a child-by-child basis.”
Furgason is the eighth person to officially announce a candidacy, following Barry Neufeld, Willow Reichelt, Dan Coulter, David Swankey, Kelly Janveaux, Erma Vietorisz and Kaethe Jones.
For all Chilliwack’s election coverage visit www.theprogress.com/municipal-election.