Chilliwack School Trustee Barry Neufeld spoke at a Culture Guard rally in his honour at Evergreen Hall on Nov. 21. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Neufeld will run again on ‘gender positive’ platform

As trustee doubles down against SOGI teaching materials, a fellow trustee calls for his resignation

Gaslighting, child abuse, and indoctrination into a “fad.”

That’s the picture Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld painted for a crowd of about 450 people on Tuesday night, who gathered to support him and hear him speak about a new teacher resource.

“Vast changes are being rapidly forced on school districts,” he says, including new computer programs and “rigid” classroom composition. “And now radical new education curriculum which has been rolled out as an anti-bullying program. When SOGI came along I couldn’t help it, I had to speak out.”

SOGI is an acronym for sexual orientation and gender identity, a phrase used by the BC Human Rights Code to describe a group that is protected from discrimination. A new teacher’s resource that addresses gender identity in the classroom, called SOGI 123, was launched as a pilot program in select B.C. schools last school year. It has been approved by the Ministry of Education for use by all teachers for this school year.

Neufeld was invited to speak at the rally by the group called Culture Guard, run by Kari Simpson, after he publicly stated his opposition to SOGI 123 on his Facebook page in October. That post prompted an emergency meeting of the board, and he issued an apology the morning after.

However, he repeated some of the same sentiments at the meeting.

“The message of SOGI is a subtle but powerful suggestion that perhaps there is something wrong with the child, that all children should consider rejecting their own gender identity,” Neufeld said. “In Kindergarten books, like Red, A Crayon’s Book, educators protect the lie that a child might actually be a girl in a male’s body or vice versa.

“This is gaslighting, the attack on the foundation of the child’s being which is child abuse.”

Those types of strong statements has prompted a fellow Chilliwack school trustee to call for Neufeld’s resignation.

“As Trustees, we must understand the impact of our actions before we take them. Trustee Neufeld has proved repeatedly that he cannot do this and is unable to move past his own narrow worldview,” Dan Coulter said.

A group of about two dozen protesters also called for him to resign, holding up placards inside and outside Evergreen Hall and chanting as people entered and exited the building.

Inside, Neufeld said the inclusion of transgender children in discussions in the classrooms excludes and even discriminates against students with “traditional family values.”

SOGI is “encouraging and enabling dysfuncational behaviour and thinking patterns,” he added. “Instead of coddling and encouraging what I call the sexual addiction of gender confusion, I believe children should be gently encouraged to be comfortable with their bodies. I believe this is best done privately by the parents of the child perhaps with the assistance of a psychotherapist, but not their teachers and peers.”

His speech was often met with thunderous applause, but also jeers from protesters who kept to the sidelines. The audience included a wide range of ages from teenagers and parents to the elderly. Trustee Heather Maahs was also in attendance.

Near the end of his speech, he conceded that he does agree no person is entirely feminine or masculine, but underlined that biology does not change.

“Gender confusion appears to be becoming a new fad,” he stated. “This is harmful to children and we should not be encouraging it in School District 33.”

Despite media reports that he’d said he won’t run again, he used the meeting as a chance to announce he is running for re-election on the board “on the platform of a more positive, gender-based teaching of students.”

He also said, though, that he “will not undermine the majority decision of the board.”

Neufeld has not responded to multiple requests for an interview with The Progress.

The full speech from Neufeld was filmed and is available online:

Who is Culture Guard?

Neufeld’s speech was followed by one from Simpson. The speech is similar to others she’s held around the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley. She runs a website and seems to be behind another group called Parents United Canada.

She said with the NDP having a shaky hold on power in B.C., it was time to “obliterate” politicians who support SOGI in schools. She also said politicians and “sex activists” are turning schools into a “political playground.” She mentioned the sexual orientation of politicians and noted that parents need to be aware of who is making decisions for their children.

Morgane Oger, a transgender woman who is also the vice president of the B.C. NDP and narrowly lost in the Vancouver False Creek riding last election, was in the audience. Simpson insisted on referring to Oger as a man, and said “his delusions end where my reality begins,” to laughter and applause from the audience.

The rally wrapped up with Simpson asking those in attendance for financial donations, saying “war is not cheap” and that she had quit her full time job to lead Culture Guard. Volunteers collected envelopes of cash and cheques, and handed out leaflets and reading material including a book called The Health Hazards of Homosexuality.

 

About 450 people filled the Evergreen Hall to listen to speakers at a Culture Guard rally in Chilliwack on Nov. 21. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

A few protesters from a counter rally moved indoors and held signs, and waved flags. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Protestors outside the Evergreen Hall. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Kari Simpson of Culture Guard also spoke. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Many people gave cash donation to Culture Guard, to “fund the war” against traditional family values. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Chilliwack toy drive brings in gifts, money to Ann Davis Transition Society

People dropped by Superstore to donate toys and more for those in need this holiday season

Chilliwack RCMP find chemicals and cannabis extract in illicit lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Chilliwack RCMP seek suspects in rash of poppy donation box thefts

Incidents at four different locations in Sardis in the days leading up to Remembrance Day

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Train ride at Minter store not part of this year’s festive fun

Tough decision made to stop seasonal train in its tracks after injury suffered by Brian Minter

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

1 woman dead, man in hospital after ‘suspicious’ crash: police

Homicide investigators and Burnaby RCMP are investigating the fatal collision

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Most Read