Chilliwack trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page, contradicting board policy

A school trustee in Chilliwack has come out swinging against sexual orientation and gender identity policies.

Barry Neufeld posted a long statement on his publicly-accessible Facebook page, saying “I can no longer sit on my hands. I have to stand up and be counted.”

He called the new efforts by the Ministry of Education to create tolerance for all sexualities “the latest fad” that has turned into a “weapon of propaganda” for gender theories.

“At the risk of being labelled a bigoted homophobe, I have to say that I support traditional family values and I agree with the College of paediatricians that allowing little children choose to change gender is nothing short of child abuse,” he wrote. “But now the BC Ministry of Education has embraced the LGBTQ lobby and is forcing this biologically absurd theory on children in our schools.”

He ended the post by saying if this is what Canadian values are becoming “count me out,” and that he’d rather live in “Russia, or Paraguay, which recently had the guts to stand up to these radical cultural nihilists.”

Neufeld also posted a meme that compared parents in 1997 and 2017. In the 1997 image, a dad yells at his son that he can’t get his ears pierced. In the 2017, a mom consoles her son who says “I think I’m supposed to be a girl.” The mom says “Okay, sweetie. We’ll start hormone treatment immediately!”

The post instantly drew criticism, along with some praise, from others.

Amoung the most notable critics was Morgane Oger, a trans woman who ran for an NDP seat in the last provincial election.

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” she scolded. “Given your position in leadership, you should know better than to quote a widely discredited pseudo-science source in order to publish hateful material against a minority group. At the very least, consult the credible sources that are widely available to you. The UBC faculty of Nursing has done excellent work on anti-trans bigotry.”

She added that there are laws to protect people from the very type of comments he posted, including sections 7(a) and 7(b) of the BC Human Rights Code.

Neufeld’s post seems to be at odds with a recent public statement by the BCSTA, which says in part: “As stewards of public schools and their students across our province, it is important that we speak out against intolerance and prejudice in any school district or community in British Columbia. … Embedded in that is the responsibility of upholding of each and every student’s and staff member’s right to a safe and inclusive environment, where they can express themselves without fear of discrimination or harassment.”

The BCTSA contacted Black Press to note that Neufeld is not a representative of the organization, and that his opinions are not that of the BCSTA.

At least one parent asked Neufeld to resign as a trustee in light of the post.

“Is it safe to assume that you are stepping down as Trustee?” asked Jared Mumford. “And if so, when will you submit your resignation to the board?”

Former Vancouver School Board chair Patti Bacchus also called for him to resign, as well as apologize.

As for the school district, superintendent Evelyn Novak says they will continue working with the board on inclusion. When asked for comment on Neufeld’s public post, Novak said the board approved changes to policy back in October 2016, regarding safe schools, to follow revised legislative requirements for the BC Charter of Human Rights and Freedom and the BC Human Rights Code.

The regulation statest that: “Schools are expected to establish a code of conduct that is consistent with board policies and regulations, the BC Charter of Human Rights and Freedom, the BC Human Rights Code and provincial standards. In establishing and maintaining a school code of conduct schools are required to: Communicate in language appropriate for the student audience the prohibitions against discrimination as set out in the BC Human Rights Code (race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and age).”

Novak added, “future discussions with the Board will include SOGI and our continued work on inclusion.”

The District’s Parent Advisory Council’s chair, Justine Hodge, also noted that the post “is in direct contradiction of The Charter of Rights and Freedom, The School Act, The BC School Trustees Association, and his own policy manual.”

“His comments promote the exclusion and isolation of a growing subset of children, including those with same-sex parents,” she said. “The fact is we have transgender students and staff in our schools and it is his duty to ensure a safe and positive learning environment for all. The Chilliwack District Parent Advisory Council’s mandate is to represent all parents, including those in same sex marriages or with children who have chosen genders. For that reason, the Chilliwack District Parent Advisory Council does not agree with or condone Mr. Neufeld’s comments.”

The BCSTA and the Chilliwack School Board Chair have also been contacted for comment on this emerging story.

Neufeld isn’t a sole voice against SOGI policies. In Surrey, a group called Parents United Canada is filing an “urgent” human rights complaint after it was told it could not rent the Bell Performing Arts Centre for a rally next month to inform parents about efforts to stop a curriculum program called SOGI 123.

READ: Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

And in Abbotsford recently, about 150 people attended a meeting to rally opposition to policies meant to make LGBT students feel safe and welcome in Abbotsford schools.

READ: Conservative activists rail against LGBT curriculum in Abbotsford (WITH VIDEO)

Barry Neufeld’s entire statement:

“Okay, so I can no longer sit on my hands. I have to stand up and be counted. A few years ago, the Liberal minister of education instigated a new curriculum supposedly to combat bullying. But it quickly morphed into a weapon of propaganda to infuse every subject matter from K-12 with the latest fad: Gender theory. the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) program instructs children that gender is not biologically determined, but is a social construct. At the risk of being labelled a bigoted homophobe, I have to say that I support traditional family values and I agree with the College of paediatricians that allowing little children choose to change gender is nothing short of child abuse. But now the BC Ministry of Education has embraced the LGBTQ lobby and is forcing this biologically absurd theory on children in our schools. Children are being taught that heterosexual marriage is no longer the norm. Teachers must not refer to “boys and girls” they are merely students. They cannot refer to mothers and fathers either. (Increasing numbers of children are growing up in homes with same sex parents) If this represents the values of Canadian society, count me out! I belong in a country like Russia, or Paraguay, which recently had the guts to stand up to these radical cultural nihilists. https://c-fam.org/…/parents-defeat-gender-ideology-paraguay/”


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Good things cooking at Barn Burner BBQ event this Sunday in Yarrow

Fifth annual event in Chilliwack raises funds for the Full Cupboard

Bail denied for alleged Chilliwack firearm thief convicted of similar crime in Alberta

Andrew Scott Charpentier charged with numerous offences after guns seized from Reece Avenue address

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Agassiz man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Moni at the Chilliwack SPCA

This week’s animal is Moni, an obedient 10-year-old Australian shepherd cross at the Chilliwack SPCA

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read