Outrage after Calgary school board trustee candidate blames LGBTQ for Edmonton terror attack

WATCH: A Calgary woman running for public school trustee is facing backlash over a Facebook comment. She links Saturday's Edmonton attack to the LGBTQ community. As Jill Croteau reports, many believe her explosive statement won't garner supporters, but it will motivate people to vote.

Many say it’s a sign of abusing democracy. A Calgary woman running for the public position of school board trustee in wards 12 and 14 is getting a lot of backlash following a controversial social media post.

In the post, Draper places blame on the LGBTQ community for this past weekend’s attack in Edmonton that injured five people.

This post on Calgary school board trustee candidate Karen Draper’s Facebook page received a lot of criticism.
This post on Calgary school board trustee candidate Karen Draper’s Facebook page received a lot of criticism.

The post by Karyn Draper sparked outrage by people who support all students and are concerned she would represent them. A member of the LGBTQ community, Tet Millare, said it’s worrisome.

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“I was shocked and scared that someone would make those connections to put the blame on our community,” Millare said. “How could this be our fault?”

READ MORE: York University fires faculty member after alleged anti-Semitic social media posts

Julie Hrdlicka is the current school board trustee for wards 11 and 13 and is seeking re-election. She’s concerned about the comments targeting marginalized students.

“I wouldn’t want hate to propel people to go to the ballots you want people to go because they’re inspired,” Hrdlicka said. “But we know sometimes hate motivates but there is no role for hate in the role of trustee.

“We accept everybody in public education.”

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Organizations who advocate for students said this might engage apathetic voters. Barbara Silva is with the Support Our Students Alberta campaign.

“As much as we dislike and be offended by those positions — they exist and they’re feeling emboldened enough to run for political office so if anything this is a call and red flag to citizens to get engaged,” Silva said.

READ MORE: Wildrose staff member alleges party members sent him anti-gay messages for planning to attend Pride event

Global News reached out to Karyn Draper, who said she wasn’t available for an interview Monday. Draper provided this statement Monday night:

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“The backlash was anticipated but I am shocked at the volume,” she wrote.

“My post was somewhat in response to the private and public slandering I have had from the LGBT community over my opposition to the GSA and SOGI123 curriculum.”

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GSAs refer to gay straight alliances in schools. The SOGI 123 curriculum is a sexual orientation and gender identity initiative that’s intended to help school districts support LGBTQ students.

“I understand I have created some high emotions over that statement and am sure that as I go forward, I can clarify again my intentions for running and confirm that I am here looking out for a fair representation to all children and all parents. ”

Draper also posted this response on Facebook following the backlash:

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