The Chilliwack Board of Education has issued a censure against one of its trustees.
The announcement was made on Tuesday, May 26, at the beginning of the board’s regular school meeting.
“At its May 26, 2020 meeting, the (Chilliwack) Board of Education censured Barry Neufeld for a Facebook post he made,” said board chair Dan Coulter. “That’s my statement.”
No other information was provided in the meeting, and when a member of the public questioned the board on the matter during the meeting, Coulter said that the matter was being dealt with internally.
There are no hard and fast rules for censuring trustees in B.C., and there are no guidelines set out by their governing board, the B.C. School Trustees’ Association. The action is not taken often, and can include exclusion from future meetings, public notices and other such measures as deemed appropriate by each board.
The reasons also vary, but lead back to the Code of Ethics that trustees swear to uphold upon being sworn into their elected positions.
Coulter did not specify the Facebook post made by Neufeld that triggered the censure. However, Neufeld recently posted on Facebook that Dr. Theresa Tam could not be trusted on the matters of coronavirus, as he stated she may be transgender. He apologized for the post at a prior board meeting, with a simple statement. He added that more would be coming in the future. Neufeld said nothing more on the matter on Tuesday night, and has not responded to a request for comment by The Progress. He has also deactivated his Facebook account.
This is not the first time Neufeld has been surrounded in controversy due to his beliefs regarding transgender people and politics. He became well known across the province in 2018 when he wrote several posts that many found derogatory toward the LGBTQ community. He also publicly criticized the implementation of a learning resource called SOGI 123, that deals with similar issues in the classroom.
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