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Chilliwack school trustee should apologize for LGBTQ Facebook post says fellow board member

Click to play video: 'Controversy over comments from Chilliwack school trustee' Controversy over comments from Chilliwack school trustee
WATCH: Comments made by a Chilliwack school trustee about B.C.’s new sexual orientation and gender identity programs are generating controversy. Tanya Beja reports – Oct 24, 2017

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld is taking heat after writing a controversial post on Facebook about SOGI 123 – an educational resource that provides guidance and support for LGBTQ students.

In his post, Neufeld said that allowing kids to choose their gender identity amounted to “child abuse.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack school trustee: letting kids choose their gender is ‘child abuse’

“At the risk of being labelled a bigoted homophobe, I have to say that I support traditional family values,” read part of Neufeld’s post.

“I have been called names, I’ve had my life threatened,” Neufeld told Global News on Monday.

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“I’ve been called an old dinosaur, a religious fanatic, a homophobe, you name it.”

WATCH: Backlash after school trustee criticizes LGBTQ program

But another trustee on the board, Dan Coulter, said he doesn’t feel one bit sorry for Neufeld and is demanding he apologize to the LGBTQ community and the school board.

“I’m lost for words as to why he would say it and it is really out of touch. I’m not sure how I would like to see it addressed but I would like to see a full apology from Barry first,” said Coulter.

READ MORE: Langley parents to rally in support of LGBTQ support program

He said the board has a string of meetings on Nov. 7, where he hopes the issue will be discussed.

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“If he’s having a tough time, it’s all because of what he did. It’s not because he has been bullied. He obviously hasn’t been bullied for being an LBTQ person,” said Coulter.

The Chilliwack School District Superintendent says Neufeld is not speaking on behalf of the board.

READ MORE: Former Langley student pens letter to school district in support of LGBTQ program

Meanwhile, the British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA) said it does not agree with Neufeld’s position.

“Our association strongly believes that schools need to be safe and welcoming places for ALL students, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or background,” reads a statement from the BCSTA.

 

“It is important that we all stand up and defend our students and our staff against any incidents of prejudice, bullying or discrimination.”

CKNW has reached out to Neufeld to see if he will apologize.

LISTEN: Jon McComb discusses Neufeld’s comments 
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Education Minister Rob Flemming said Neufeld is “unfortunately not a role model in the school system on this issue.”

“His views are not going to have any effect on influencing the ministry of education and I suspect he’s finding himself rather isolated in the Chilliwack School District as well.”

He said Neufeld’s opinions on the issue are “outdated and bigoted,” but that he will not be taking action to remove Neufeld.

~With files from Liza Yuzda

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