Advertisement

Province appoints special advisors to review Chilliwack school board

Click to play video 'Chilliwack school trustee called out over offensive remark he made about local journalists' Chilliwack school trustee called out over offensive remark he made about local journalists
Chilliwack school trustee called out over offensive remark he made about local journalists – Nov 20, 2020

B.C.’s new education minister has appointed a pair of special advisors to evaluate Chilliwack’s school board.

Jennifer Whiteside appointed retired B.C. Supreme Court justice Lynn Smith and former Surrey school superintendent Mike Mckay to evaluate the board’s commitment to a “safe, inclusive and welcoming” school system.

Read more: B.C. education minister reviewing options to remove controversial Chilliwack school trustee

It comes after a string of controversial comments from board member Barry Neufeld.

Neufeld most recently made headlines when he used a slur for people with developmental disabilities to refer to staff at a Chilliwack community newspaper in a Facebook post.

Click to play video 'Chilliwack school trustee compares gender transitioning to child abuse' Chilliwack school trustee compares gender transitioning to child abuse
Chilliwack school trustee compares gender transitioning to child abuse – Nov 22, 2017

In May the Chilliwack school board censured him for a conspiracy theory-riddled Facebook post about COVID-19, which included personal attacks on federal chief medical health officer Dr. Theresa Tam and allegations about her gender.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Controversial Chilliwack, B.C., school trustee calls local journalists R-word in online post

He has previously stirred controversy for his active opposition to SOGI123, a provincial program designed to create an inclusive environment for LGBTQ2 kids in schools, and for referring to gender transitioning as “child abuse.”

B.C.’s School Act does not allow for the province to fire individual school trustees, though does contain a provision allowing the minister to remove the entire school board and replace it with a single appointed trustee.

Read more: B.C. school trustee apologizes for transgender coronavirus conspiracy theory attacking Theresa Tam

Smith and McKay are expected to deliver a report by the end of February.

Education Ministry staff have also launched a review of the School Act.