Embattled Chilliwack school trustee says he won’t resign amid criticism

Click to play video: 'Chilliwack school trustee repeats criticism of LGBTQ curriculum' Chilliwack school trustee repeats criticism of LGBTQ curriculum
After initially apologizing, Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld is now doubling down on his criticism of a curriculum that supports LGBTQ inclusivity. Aaron McArthur reports – Nov 23, 2017

A Chilliwack School trustee is asking one of his colleagues to step down, after a controversial speech earlier this week.

Dan Coulter says Barry Neufeld’s comments about the LGBTQ community are extremely damaging, and he’d like him to resign.

“Honestly, no I don’t think he will step down. I definitely think he should, but it’s obvious to me that his judgement is compromised.”

Coulter says Neufeld’s comments about the LGBTQ community is infringing on their human rights.

“Just like people of colour, just like people of different religions – and I think when you attack one group’s human rights I don’t think other group’s human rights are safe.”

He says Neufeld was his friend, but Neufeld’s comments about the provincially-mandated Sexual Identity and Gender Identity (SOGI) curriculum are not making schools a safe and inclusive environment.

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On Tuesday Neufeld spoke at an event hosted by the group Culture Guard and said it is abusive to let children rush into gender reassignment treatment.

READ MORE: Barry Neufeld, Chilliwack school trustee, compares gender transitioning to ‘child abuse’

But Neufeld is not backing down.

“The main gist of my speech was that this tramples on the rights of parents to pass down their values to the children especially when the school curriculum contradicts that.”

This isn’t the first time Neufeld has criticized the SOGI 123 policy.

In a Facebook post last month he stated letting children determine their gender was nothing short of child abuse.

He has since deleted his Facebook account and apologized for his remarks.

“The main people that I was apologizing to was my fellow trustees. They said they felt hurt by my remarks. And I said, ‘Well I had no intention to hurt you, or to hurt our superintendent. It’s just this program that I’m opposed to.'”

Neufeld has served on the board for more than two decades and says he doesn’t plan to step down.

Education Minister Rob Fleming says he condemns anybody who runs on a platform that risks student safety in the school system.

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Fleming says he’s concerned seeing intolerant voices organizing against a safe school space for B.C.’s students.

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