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LETTER: School trustee Heather Maahs says some books make children unsafe

‘Their innocence has been violated’
Chilliwack School Trustee Heather Maahs (right) suggested people within Chilliwack SD33 are “grooming children” during an appearance with fellow trustee Barry Neufeld (middle) on an internet talk show hosted by Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson. (Screenshot)

Re: “School trustee Heather Maahs suggests some within SD33 are grooming children,” Progress June 17, 2022.

This article quotes trustee Willow Reichelt declaring that my stating her husband participated on a committee for a parent complaint is “morally reprehensible.”

What is in fact morally reprehensible is that school boards are allowing books to be in school libraries that cross many lines of decency. This includes normalizing sexual abuse of a minor by a family member with descriptions that this paper would not print, with pictures of all kinds, including but not limited to fellatio.

The Chilliwack board, as well as boards in BC are refusing to do what the provincial government has ordered them to do which is, “approving learning resources” through a Legislated Order from July 1, 2017. Trustees have a duty to protect children from books being brought in that expose them to lurid sexual acts. When I posted quotes from a particular book on trustee Reichelt’s Facebook page, having just written her own favourable book review, she deleted them while defending the book itself.She said her filters alerted her to the content from the quote. But for trustee Reichelt it’s perfectly OK to have these books on the shelves of our children’s schools? Trustees have been assigned a job, hence the name ‘trustee,’ to be trusted by the public that the children under their watch are safe.

At the moment, exposure to these books makes them unsafe; unsafe because their innocence has been violated, unsafe because this exposure desensitizes them to sexual acts that belong in the backroom of the video store, or with ‘restricted’ status as movie goers understand. And, unsafe because they have been predisposed to the content that makes them more vulnerable to sexual predators which is the definition of a groomer. Instead, we have no process in school board policy that determines what is or isn’t appropriate in our schools. That, Editor, is what is morally reprehensible.

Standards that are hypocritical while falsely giving parents a notion that their children will not be exposed to material that they can never unsee from their minds eye is wrong and unethical, and yes, morally reprehensible.

Heather Maahs

Trustee, Chilliwack Board of Education

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