A Chilliwack trustee has spoken out publicly against sexual orientation and gender identity policies that are being adopted in schools across B.C. (BCSTA image)

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

A school trustee in Chilliwack has come out swinging against sexual orientation and gender identity policies.

Barry Neufeld posted a long statement on his publicly-accessible Facebook page, saying “I can no longer sit on my hands. I have to stand up and be counted.”

He called the new efforts by the Ministry of Education to create tolerance for all sexualities “the latest fad” that has turned into a “weapon of propaganda” for gender theories.

“At the risk of being labelled a bigoted homophobe, I have to say that I support traditional family values and I agree with the College of paediatricians that allowing little children choose to change gender is nothing short of child abuse,” he wrote. “But now the BC Ministry of Education has embraced the LGBTQ lobby and is forcing this biologically absurd theory on children in our schools.”

He ended the post by saying if this is what Canadian values are becoming “count me out,” and that he’d rather live in “Russia, or Paraguay, which recently had the guts to stand up to these radical cultural nihilists.”

Neufeld also posted a meme that compared parents in 1997 and 2017. In the 1997 image, a dad yells at his son that he can’t get his ears pierced. In the 2017, a mom consoles her son who says “I think I’m supposed to be a girl.” The mom says “Okay, sweetie. We’ll start hormone treatment immediately!”

The post instantly drew criticism, along with some praise, from others.

Patti Bacchus, a former Vancouver School Board chair, also called for a resignation on Twitter.

Amoung the most notable critics was Morgane Oger, a trans woman who ran for an NDP seat in the last provincial election.

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” she scolded. “Given your position in leadership, you should know better than to quote a widely discredited pseudo-science source in order to publish hateful material against a minority group. At the very least, consult the credible sources that are widely available to you. The UBC faculty of Nursing has done excellent work on anti-trans bigotry.”

She added that there are laws to protect people from the very type of comments he posted, including sections 7(a) and 7(b) of the BC Human Rights Code.

Neufeld’s post is at odds with a recent public statement by the B.C. School Trustee’s Association, which says in part: “As stewards of public schools and their students across our province, it is important that we speak out against intolerance and prejudice in any school district or community in British Columbia. … Embedded in that is the responsibility of upholding of each and every student’s and staff member’s right to a safe and inclusive environment, where they can express themselves without fear of discrimination or harassment.”

The BCSTA contacted The Progress to express that Neufeld’s opinions are his own, and do not align with that of the BCSTA.

At least one parent asked Neufeld to resign as a trustee in light of the post.

“Is it safe to assume that you are stepping down as Trustee?” asked Jared Mumford. “And if so, when will you submit your resignation to the board?”

As for the school district, superintendent Evelyn Novak says they will continue working with the board on inclusion. When asked for comment on Neufeld’s public post, Novak said the board approved changes to policy back in October 2016, regarding safe schools, to follow revised legislative requirements for the BC Charter of Human Rights and Freedom and the BC Human Rights Code.

The regulation statest that: “Schools are expected to establish a code of conduct that is consistent with board policies and regulations, the BC Charter of Human Rights and Freedom, the BC Human Rights Code and provincial standards. In establishing and maintaining a school code of conduct schools are required to: Communicate in language appropriate for the student audience the prohibitions against discrimination as set out in the BC Human Rights Code (race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and age).”

Novak added, “future discussions with the Board will include SOGI and our continued work on inclusion.”

The District’s Parent Advisory Council’s chair, Justine Hodge, also noted that the post “is in direct contradiction of The Charter of Rights and Freedom, The School Act, The BC School Trustees Association, and his own policy manual.”

“His comments promote the exclusion and isolation of a growing subset of children, including those with same-sex parents,” she said. “The fact is we have transgender students and staff in our schools and it is his duty to ensure a safe and positive learning environment for all. The Chilliwack District Parent Advisory Council’s mandate is to represent all parents, including those in same sex marriages or with children who have chosen genders. For that reason, the Chilliwack District Parent Advisory Council does not agree with or condone Mr. Neufeld’s comments.”

The BCSTA, and the Chilliwack School Board Chair have also been contacted for comment on this emerging story.

Neufeld isn’t a sole voice against SOGI policies. In Surrey, a group called Parents United Canada is filing an “urgent” human rights complaint after it was told it could not rent the Bell Performing Arts Centre for a rally next month to inform parents about efforts to stop a curriculum program called SOGI 123.

READ: Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

And in Abbotsford recently, about 150 people attended a meeting to rally opposition to policies meant to make LGBT students feel safe and welcome in Abbotsford schools.

READ: Conservative activists rail against LGBT curriculum in Abbotsford (WITH VIDEO)

Barry Neufeld’s entire statement:

“Okay, so I can no longer sit on my hands. I have to stand up and be counted. A few years ago, the Liberal minister of education instigated a new curriculum supposedly to combat bullying. But it quickly morphed into a weapon of propaganda to infuse every subject matter from K-12 with the latest fad: Gender theory. the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) program instructs children that gender is not biologically determined, but is a social construct. At the risk of being labelled a bigoted homophobe, I have to say that I support traditional family values and I agree with the College of paediatricians that allowing little children choose to change gender is nothing short of child abuse. But now the BC Ministry of Education has embraced the LGBTQ lobby and is forcing this biologically absurd theory on children in our schools. Children are being taught that heterosexual marriage is no longer the norm. Teachers must not refer to “boys and girls” they are merely students. They cannot refer to mothers and fathers either. (Increasing numbers of children are growing up in homes with same sex parents) If this represents the values of Canadian society, count me out! I belong in a country like Russia, or Paraguay, which recently had the guts to stand up to these radical cultural nihilists. https://c-fam.org/…/parents-defeat-gender-ideology-paraguay/”


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

The track washrooms will be opened up again next year in May. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Toilets, sinks torn off, graffiti on walls at the Burns Lake track washroom

“Seems to happen once or twice a year” says the Village CAO on the vandalized track washroom

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, Cullen apologize for Stikine candidate’s comments about Haida candidate

Nathan Cullen had made insensitive comments about Roy Jones Jr. Cheexial

The pile burning will occur to the south of François Lake. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
Pile burning and rehab work on three areas south of François Lake

Smoke might be visible for Burns Lake and neighboring areas

Participants earlier this year in March for Lakes Loppet at the ski club. (Lakes District News file photo)
How is Omineca Ski Club prepping for this ski season?

Covid restrictions, social distancing but ski season to continue

FOR WEB ONLY. (Lakes District News file photo)
Question Bill C-7, says this reader

Editor: Have you ever felt strongly convicted about something one day and… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

Most Read