The Chilliwack School District’s trustees will be meeting in the coming days to discuss how to move forward after one trustee openly stated his intolerance of gender identity policies. (Progress file)

Chilliwack school board to discuss trustee’s opinions on LGBTQ program

Board to decide how to move forward following Barry Neufeld’s Facebook post

The Chilliwack School District’s school board has announced they will be holding an emergency meeting Tuesday night, to discuss the recent public comments by Trustee Barry Neufeld.

Board chair Paul McManus has confirmed that they will meet in-camera, to come to a consensus on how to move forward after Neufeld announced his strong opposition to what he’s called “child abuse.”

READ: Chilliwack trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

“It will be a special, in-camera meeting, just with the content of what we’ll be discussing,” he says. “And we’ll be meeting tonight.”

He has already had confirmation that the majority of the seven trustees will attend, although trustee Walt Krahn is away on holidays.

McManus said the meeting could be a fresh start for the board to discuss SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identifcation) issues, something they haven’t gotten around to yet due to more pressing issues with reconfiguration, over capacity schools and new school discussions.

“This is a bigger issue, a bigger conversation,” he said. “And this is where we start. Honestly it’s one of those things, with all the things going on in the district, that it’s a situation where we haven’t got to the topic yet.”

That will change with this meeting, he said, and doesn’t change the fact that the policies are already in school.

“It’s embedded in the curriculum,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication. Frankly, I’m just trying to understand how it all works as well. I’m not an expert.”

But he’s willing to learn, he said.

When asked whether the public would find out what happens in the meeting tonight (Oct. 24), he said he couldn’t be sure.

“To be honest, I don’t know. It depends so much on what happens,” he said. “The conversation itself is not going to be shared. But this doesn’t stop tonight. We’ll carry on.”

The next regular scheduled board meeting is set for Nov. 7.

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