Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld brought residential schools into the SOGI 123 debate that’s been brewing in this district since October, when he began criticizing the teacher resource.

Neufeld brings residential schools into SOGI debate

School trustee says he can’t ‘help but thinking that this kind of oppression is happening again’

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld brought residential schools into the SOGI 123 debate that’s been brewing in this district since October, when he began criticizing the teacher resource.

In his trustee remarks at the end of Tuesday’s school board meeting, he read from a written statement about the past few weeks. He had been uninvited from a regional meeting that was to be held in Maple Ridge after some members said they were uncomfortable with his attendance because of comments he has made about the gay, lesbian and transgender community.

The meeting was moved to Abbotsford, where Neufeld said he felt like “the elephant in the room.”

During that meeting, aboriginal achievement was discussed, he said.

“A common problem for each district is how to reach out to aboriginal parents and get them to support their children’s education. But aboriginal parents still remember the oppression of the days of residential schools when the government tried to eradicate what they considered were superstitious values of the aboriginal traditions surrounding family and community.”

“I couldn’t help but thinking that this kind of oppression is happening again 150 years later,” he continued, as people in the gallery of the board room began to audibly gasp. “The BC school act, the Canadian Charter of Human Rights, and international law…”

“Someone stop him,” an audience member said.

“Let him speak,” another one said.

“…uphold the right of parents to direct all aspects of their children’s education,” Neufeld continued. “The Ontario Court of Appeal in a recent decision in November stated clearly: ‘The right of parents to care for their children and make decisions for their well being, including decisions on education, is primary and the states authority is secondary to that parental right.’”

Earlier in the evening, he also questioned Dan Bibby, who was at the meeting for a presentation on the many positive partnerships between the Ministry of Children and Families Chilliwack and the Chilliwack School District.

Neufeld stated that the BC Teachers Federation policy is that “if a child confesses to a school district employee that they have feelings of same sex attraction or is transgender, the policy is that they will not notify the parents but will instead call in your ministry to do an evaluation.”

Many people against the teacher resource called SOGI 123 believe that teachers are not allowed to tell parents if a student identifies as transgender, because student confidentiality is listed on the SOGI 123 website.

Neufeld asked Bibby what the protocols, services, and protections are to “restore harmony to the family,” in situations where a child announces they are gay, lesbian or transgender.

Bibby said there hasn’t been a situation like that he’s aware of. He referred to Section 13 of their act, that lays out policy that staff would in fact interview the children, and parents, and make an assessment from there.

“From my knowledge, we’ve never had a case where we’ve assessed from that situation.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack wades into backyard chickens in urban areas

Permit came with several conditions and can be reconsidered by council

Big Bar Landslide saw long awaited blasting this week

Pressure has been on senior governments working with First Nations to remove blockage for months

Two prolific offenders from Alberta lead RCMP on chase across Fraser Valley

Men first reported in Chilliwack ending with allegedly stolen vehicle in an Abbotsford pond

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Fearing an Aryan invasion

In 1995, Chilliwack Mayor John Les was concerned about the idea of an ‘Aryan Fest’ coming to town.

COLUMN: Trying to look forward while looking back

Reader suggests re-running a 2015 Times column after recent racism towards Indigenous people

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Winds up to 70 km/hr expected across Metro Vancouver

Winds are expected to subside overnight

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

High-risk sex offender cuts off ankle bracelet, on the loose in Vancouver: police

Vancouver police said Kirstjon Olson, 38, is a provincial sex offender with 27 court-ordered conditions

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read