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Chilliwack school board censures trustee Heather Maahs

Maahs has been censured for violation of the Trustee Code of Conduct
Chilliwack district principal Sean Wicker takes a photo of, left to right, school board trustees Heather Maahs, David Swankey, Margaret Reid, Teri Westerby, Willow Reichelt, Richard Procee, and district superintendent Rohan Arul-Pragasam at the district’s donor recognition dinner at G.W. Graham school on March 15, 2023. On March 16, Maahs was censured by the school board. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

The Chilliwack School Board has censured one of its trustees.

At a March 16 special in-camera meeting, the board censured Heather Maahs for violation of the Trustee Code of Conduct. Censuring is an open-ended term that might mean she cannot participate in meetings or only in closed-door meetings. It might require her to take training or some other measure. The board will need to set parameters for it.

Chilliwack School District 33 released a statement Thursday (March 16), suggesting Maahs didn’t carry out her duties faithfully, diligently and in a manner that inspires public confidence in the ability and integrity of the board.

“Additionally, trustees will accept the 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.”

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Lately, Maahs has been at odds with the board over learning resources, specifically books in school libraries that she feels are inappropriate. There have been confrontational moments at recent meetings, to the point where school board chair Willow Reichelt has turned off Maahs’ microphone.

The SD33 release also suggested her opposition to a student-led event played into the decision. No specifics were offered, but a drag show and dance at Chilliwack Secondary School in February came under fire from a website called, which put out a “call to action” asking school officials to cancel the drag event. There was a protest outside of the school on that day.

The SD33 statement didn’t reference this specifically, but did say “it is expected that trustees will listen and work to be responsive to the concerns of community members; however, being seen to campaign with community members against the decisions of the board and district staff, and the actions of district staff and of students, is inconsistent with board policy.”

The school board is now in the process of hiring a facilitator.

“The board is hopeful that through the hiring of a facilitator, trustees can learn to work together as a team,” Reichelt said, who said no further action is being taken against Maahs.

Maahs has been offered a chance to comment and this story will be updated if/when she does.

The last time this happened was in May of 2020 when the school board censured former trustee Barry Neufeld


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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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