Darrell Furgason has announced that he will be running for re-election in October’s school board election.
Reaching out to The Progress on Sunday, Furgason said he is “not finished yet with the task of re-focusing education in Chilliwack on academic and intellectual development of children.”
“Too much time has been spent by the past board majority (Willow Reichelt, Jared Mumford, Carin Bondar, David Swankey) focusing on political activism, trying to silence the voices and ideas of conservative trustees through investigators and sanctions, a lawsuit, and by promoting a left wing ideological agenda,” Furgason said. “I am running again with the goal of promoting student achievement. That is all. I believe that is what trustees are elected to do, and that is what parents in Chilliwack should expect from a school board trustee.”
While Bondar and Swankey are running again this fall, Mumford and Reichelt have yet to declare.
In a news release sent along with his declaration, Furgason said he’ll be fighting for the right of parents to be involved in their child’s education. He has been opposed to SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) curriculum, and suggested he would “promote the involvement of a qualified child psychologist to address any issues of gender dysphoria/confusion on a child-by-child basis.”
Furgason also said he will advocate for “quality, fact-based curriculum that enhances the intellectual, moral and social development of every student.”
“This means a science-based approach to teacher resources that promote critical thinking, and problem solving within a global context,” he noted. “This requires new leadership, so that the school board does not simply become a rubber stamp for bureaucrats.”
Furgason suggested he wants parents to be more involved in discussions around assessing teacher resources, curricula or courses involving sexual practices, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.”
His position on SOGI has frequently left him at odds with the trustees Reichelt, Mumford, Bondar and Swankey, and one of his pledges is to “stand up for our community, not special interest groups.”
Furgason said he will promote ‘inclusivity for all.’
“All students should have an equal opportunity to learn, with strategies in place to promote a variety of learning styles and abilities,” he explained. “This also means addressing the educational needs of the increasing number of students from diverse cultural backgrounds moving into the Chilliwack region.”
Furgason said he’ll also be looking to protect classroom time for essential subjects, “allowing teachers to do their job.”
“This will improve the quality of Chilliwack graduates so that they have more options for further studies - whether at technical schools or university.”
Furgason lives in Chilliwack and was first elected to the school board in 2018.
According to his news release, Furgason has been involved in education at the high school and university levels for more than 30 years, having taught in Australia, the United States and Canada.