Community activist Willow Reichelt announced her bid for the Chilliwack school board this fall. (Facebook)

Local community activist to run for Chilliwack school board

Willow Reichelt outspoken in support of anti-bullying gender identity teaching resource

A local community organizer is the first non-sitting trustee to announce a run for the Chilliwack school board this fall.

Willow Reichelt is an artist and was a teacher for 14 years in the district up until five years ago.

Reichelt is among those who have been outspoken in recent months in support of inclusivity and tolerance in the classroom, in the face of opposition to a Ministry of Education teaching resource on the subject of gender identity in the classroom.

Reichelt’s is the co-founder of Chilliwack’s first little free library (the Literary Owl Little Free Library), the organizer and emcee of You Belong Here (an event held in 2017 to support Muslims and other immigrants), the organizer of two LGBTQ support rallies in 2017 and 2018, and a member of the organizing committee and emcee for the first March for Women in Chilliwack in January 2018.

Also having announced a run for re-election, are sitting trustees Dan Coulter and Barry Neufeld, the former a strong supporter of the SOGI 123 anti-bullying resource and the latter a strong opponent of it.

Coulter announced his campaign for the Oct. 20 election a few weeks ago, and Neufeld announced back in November at an anti-SOGI meeting that he would run for re-election “on the platform of a more positive, gender-based teaching of students.”

• READ MORE: Neufeld will run again on ‘gender positive’ platform

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

Coulter has said in the past that it doesn’t matter whether school boards accept the SOGI 123 resource or not since schools have to follow the Human Rights Code.

“If they’re not using the actual SOGI they’re using something that approximates it,” Coulter said at a November meeting of provincial trustees.

As for Reichelt, she was born in Chilliwack, attended three local schools, and has two sons who have attended school here (one who has just graduated and one who will be in Grade 10 in September).

Her husband is a teacher/librarian and she’s pursued her art full-time.

She says her platform focuses on learning support, communication, and inclusion.

Reichelt has a particular interest in providing increased educational assistant time, smaller classes, and guaranteed access to intensive reading interventions like the Early Success Program.

“[I want] Chilliwack schools to be welcoming and inclusive for all members of the school community regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or economic status,” she said in a press release.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Three Chilliwack entrepreneurs finalists for Small Business BC Awards

Woodside Enterprises, Pick Eco Refills and Culture Co. could win in different categories

Six impaired drivers nabbed in Chilliwack RCMP CounterAttack campaign

Officers were set up on Yale Road overpass on Dec. 7

Fish farm foes take heart from pledge to take aquaculture out of B.C. waters

PM sets timeline for five years to transition fish farming out of ocean in B.C.

New arts-technology focused high school coming to Chilliwack for 2021

Education Minister announces $15.4 million and January construction start for new southside school

Planning price tag revealed for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford

Developer says highrises would house 30,000, but Abbotsford mayor says project is in wrong place

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Man accused of child sex crimes out on bail: Delta police

Gurchetan Singh Samra, 69, must stay away from — and not communicate with — anyone under 16 years old

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Sentencing for B.C. father who murdered two young daughters starts Monday

The bodies of Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, were found in Oak Bay father’s apartment Dec. 25, 2017

Most Read