The terms of a Chilliwack school trustee’s censure are now public.
Barry Neufeld has been censured by the Chilliwack Board of Education on May 26, 2020. But the details of his censure were not a part of the announcement made in a public meeting.
In an interview with The Progress, board chair Dan Coulter said it was a “difficult decision” for the board to make.
“But in this case we felt that the breach was egregious enough that we had to take action,” he said.
The full statement reads:
“The Board of Education censure Trustee Barry Neufeld for his May 9 Facebook post, and that the censure include 1) a public announcement of the censure, 2) continuation of Trustee Neufeld’s lack of liaison duties, 3) removal of Trustee Neufeld from all committees and 4) removal of Trustee Neufeld from invitations to all district events where trustees interact with students and staff.”
On May 9, Neufeld created a Facebook post that focused on the gender of Dr. Theresa Tam. He stated that she is believed to be transgender and if that’s the case, she shouldn’t be trusted. In the past, Neufeld has created other offensive posts regarding other LGBTQ issues, specifically about the SOGI-123 teaching resources. In those cases he ended up apologizing, but similar posts appeared again. It also led to the board holding back his liaison duties.
Coulter said it’s that “pattern of behaviour,” of posting things and then apologizing and then doing it again, that led the board to its decision.
“He always apologizes after he makes these posts but then goes right back to doing it again,” Coulter said. “At some point we have to enforce the rules, there’s no point in having a code of ethics if the rules aren’t enforced.”
There is no timeline or end date for the censure, and the censure does not limit Neufeld from taking part in regular or in-camera meetings.
The Progress has reached out to Neufeld for comment.
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