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