Erma Vietorisz is runnning for school trustee in Chilliwack. (Submitted)

Sixth candidate steps forward for Chilliwack school board

Retired teacher Erma Vietorisz once called gay-straight alliance clubs ‘social engineering’

A former teacher with a history of opposition to gay-straight alliance clubs in school is running for the Chilliwack school board.

Retired teacher Erma Vietorisz announced her candidacy for trustee in a message to The Progress on Monday.

She is the sixth person who has announced a candidacy for the Chilliwack school board election, which will take place on Oct. 20.

• READ MORE: All your Chilliwack municipal election coverage in one place

“I’ve had many years of experience as a teacher in the B.C. public school system, and it’s time for me to put that experience to good use,” the 68-year-old Vietorisz wrote. “I think I have a lot to offer and it would be an honour to serve the students, parents, teachers and taxpayers of Chilliwack School District 33.”

Vietorisz says she has a bachelor of education degree and a master’s degree in arts, in addition to 37 years of experience in the field of education “with a lengthy career in helping students with learning difficulties.”

She added that she has a keen interest in helping all students succeed, and she has particular areas of expertise in helping students acquire literacy skills and to deal with emotional issues.

Vietorisz served as chair of several school-based teams for many years, and worked with teachers, parents, paraprofessionals and administrators to find solutions to difficult problems.

She also represented teachers at the local level of the B.C. Teachers Federation for many years, and hopes to help build a positive relationship between parents and teachers and the board.

“In addition, [I] wants to make Chilliwack’s voice heard in the next round of negotiations between the BCTF and BCPSEA when the present Collective Agreement comes to an end in June 2019.”

While a teacher, Vietorisz was quoted in a Canadian Press story posted on the Globe and Mail website 18 years ago as a spokesperson for the “Coalition for the Protection of Parental Rights” that organized a rally against a proposal by the BCTF to support gay-straight alliance clubs, which are usually set up to help protect LGBT students from bullying.

“The BCTF is being used by a special-interest group for political and social engineering,” Vietorisz is quoted as saying.

In response to that, BCTF president at the time David Chudnovsky said he was surprised at the “sensationalist” coverage in the media by what he called “a small number of people who” opposed to the clubs.

Chudnovsky compared gay-straight alliance clubs to anti-racism programs in schools.

The issue of bullying and LGBT rights in schools has been a subject of considerable coverage in recent months, mostly due to the opposition by Trustee Barry Neufeld to the Ministry of Education’s SOGI 123 anti-bullying teaching materials.

Vietorisz has also spent time doing missionary work in South America with other members of the Chilliwack Alliance Church, according to a 2014 blog post.

And two years ago she self-published a 30-page book available for sale on Amazon.ca entitled Erma’s Marriage Handbook: A Handy Resource For Building a Happy Marriage.

• READ MORE: SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting

• READ MORE: Educators speak out against Chilliwack school trustee’s anti-LGBTQ post


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Organizers of the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival have decided to end the event after more than 20 years. / Bob Friesen File Photo
Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival cancelled – for good

Organizers say the event was so popular that too many people were attending to be sustainable

Owen Charpentier, 21, is charged with the Oct. 22, 2019 second-degree murder of Keith Baldwin in Chilliwack. (File)
Pre-trial dates set for Chilliwack man charged with Keith Baldwin’s murder

Owen Dale Charpentier accused in the fourth homicide of 2019 next in court June 2021

The 2020 Rotary Club of Chilliwack Book Sale is moving from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park to allow more room for physically-distanced shopping. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rotary Book Sale moves from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park

The hugely-popular book sale is going ahead Oct. 25-31 with pandemic protocols in place

Massimo Rizzo (Penticton Vees, BCHL), middle, tries to out-maneuver two Team Canada East players during a preliminary game at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge. Team Canada West won the all-Canadian matchup 6-1.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images
Chilliwack Chiefs acquire Massimo Rizzo from Coquitlam Express

Chiefs hockey boss Brian Maloney has high expectations this season, and this trade is a sign of that

There have been several reports to the Chilliwack RCMP recently regarding a phone scam where the caller impersonates a local police officer and asks for money, they said on Oct. 19. 2020. (Miryam Leon/ Unsplash)
Chilliwack RCMP warn phone scammers are impersonating officers

RCMP officers would never solicit money or Bitcoin from someone, they assure the public

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

Most Read