Minister, board urge B.C. school trustee to resign over LGBTQ remarks
Barry Neufeld was first elected to Chilliwack's Board of Education in 1992. (Barry Neufeld/Facebook)
CHILLIWACK, B.C. - British Columbia's education minister is joining calls for a school board member to step down after the trustee said education policies aimed at supporting LGBTQ students amount to child abuse.
The Chilliwack Board of Education passed a motion Thursday asking trustee Barry Neufeld to resign over the comments he made on Facebook, saying Neufeld has lost the confidence of the board and partners in learning.
Education Minister Rob Fleming echoed the call Friday in a Facebook post, saying Neufeld's comments were hurtful and offensive, and undermine the goals of the school board and the ministry.
Neufeld declined comment on the board's motion or Fleming's remarks when reached by phone on Friday but the board's statement says Neufeld has stated he intends to continue in the position.
In October, Neufeld criticized proposed changes to the board's Safe Schools Policy that align with the B.C. Human Rights Code ensuring all students are free of harassment, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.
He later apologized for his comments in a statement, saying he believes in a safe learning environment, but added that educational resources should be reviewed by parents and teachers before they're implemented.