Loading articles...

BC's education minister calls for Chilliwack school trustee's resignation

Last Updated Jan 22, 2018 at 7:38 am PST

(Photo courtesy Barry Neufeld, via Facebook)
Summary

'Hurtful and offensive words and actions... continue to undermine this District and Ministry goal," says Rob Fleming

CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) – BC’s Education Minister Rob Fleming is formally requesting the resignation of longtime Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld.

He says “All students deserve to be welcomed, included and respected in a safe learning environment no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Neufeld made headlines last year when he posted negative comments on social media about the SOGI support program for students.

“The hurtful and offensive words and actions of Chilliwack School Trustee Barry Neufeld continue to undermine this District and Ministry goal. While individuals are entitled to their opinions, Mr. Neufeld has jeopardized student safety, divided his school community, and acted against board and ministry policies,” reads a statement from Fleming.

Even though he doesn’t have the power to fire Neufeld, Fleming says his refusal to back down has “undermined the school district’s ability to focus on other goals for student success.”

Last night, the local school board also issued a statement calling for Neufeld to step down.

Related articles:

Chilliwack trustee should step down after post about LGBTQ-friendly curriculum, says BCTF president

Chilliwack school trustee apologizes after controversial Facebook post

Chilliwack school trustee blasts LGBTQ-friendly school curriculum

Full statement from Education Minister Rob Fleming:

Last night, the Chilliwack School District board called upon Mr. Neufeld to resign his position as a school trustee.

All students deserve to be welcomed, included and respected in a safe learning environment no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.

That’s what SOGI 1-2-3 is all about-ensuring that students are able to be fully and completely themselves without being excluded or bullied.

The hurtful and offensive words and actions of Chilliwack School Trustee Barry Neufeld continue to undermine this District and Ministry goal.

While individuals are entitled to their opinions, Mr. Neufeld has jeopardized student safety, divided his school community, and acted against board and ministry policies.
In addition to Mr. Neufeld’s continued and escalating disregard for Chilliwack students, he has also undermined the school district’s ability to focus on other goals for student success, including improving student achievement, creating welcoming and inclusive environments in our schools, and continuing to implement our new curriculum.

While the School Act doesn’t give an Education Minister the authority to dismiss an individual trustee, for the reasons outlined above, I do not believe that Mr. Neufeld should continue as a trustee. That is why I am joining parents, teachers, support staff and his fellow trustees who have lost confidence in Mr. Neufeld due to his negative and destructive words and actions. It’s time for him to now do the right thing for the Chilliwack school community and step down.