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.”
“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.
“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.
He said the board has a string of meetings on Nov. 7, where he hopes the issue will be discussed.
“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.
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.
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He said Neufeld’s opinions on the issue are “outdated and bigoted,” but that he will not be taking action to remove Neufeld.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