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LETTER: Neufeld’s attack on newspaper staff is reprehensible

‘Equally inexcusable is Trustee Darrell Furgason’s attempt to defend Neufeld’s words’

I am writing to voice concern over comments posted in the past week on social media by Chilliwack School Board Trustee Barry Neufeld.

In this post he used a term that can only be described as reprehensible in attacking three representatives of this community newspaper. Trustee Neufeld’s comments are part of a pattern of intolerant and disrespectful words used towards segments of our community and schools in recent years.

It is appalling to witness these comments from an elected representative of the public school system responsible for thousands of students and employees. Equally inexcusable is Trustee Darrell Furgason’s attempt to defend Neufeld’s words.

READ MORE: Chilliwack school trustee under fire again – this time for offensive slur at journalists

READ MORE: Chilliwack teachers respond to trustee’s ableist slurs

I find it ironic Trustee Neufeld can make such comments while schools and districts have Codes of Conduct.

The Chilliwack School District Code of Conduct specifically states:

“The Board of Education recognizes its obligation to all members of the school community – staff, students, parents and guests – ­to provide a positive climate and a safe and healthy environment.

It is expected that all members of the school community will conduct themselves in an ethical and lawful manner that demonstrates respect for self, others, property and environment.

“Social media, defined as the use of technologies for information sharing, discussion and communication using interactive dialogue, is an extension of the classroom. What is inappropriate in the school community will be deemed inappropriate online.

Violation of these principles will warrant intervention and/or disciplinary action.”

I have joined others in requesting the Minister of Education investigate and pursue the School Act being rewritten to include a binding Code of Conduct for trustees, and that it include the ability of the Minister to remove individual trustees for breaking or abusing the code.

Dave Stephen

Chilliwack

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