Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld brought residential schools into the SOGI 123 debate that’s been brewing in this district since October, when he began criticizing the teacher resource.

Neufeld brings residential schools into SOGI debate

School trustee says he can’t ‘help but thinking that this kind of oppression is happening again’

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld brought residential schools into the SOGI 123 debate that’s been brewing in this district since October, when he began criticizing the teacher resource.

In his trustee remarks at the end of Tuesday’s school board meeting, he read from a written statement about the past few weeks. He had been uninvited from a regional meeting that was to be held in Maple Ridge after some members said they were uncomfortable with his attendance because of comments he has made about the gay, lesbian and transgender community.

The meeting was moved to Abbotsford, where Neufeld said he felt like “the elephant in the room.”

During that meeting, aboriginal achievement was discussed, he said.

“A common problem for each district is how to reach out to aboriginal parents and get them to support their children’s education. But aboriginal parents still remember the oppression of the days of residential schools when the government tried to eradicate what they considered were superstitious values of the aboriginal traditions surrounding family and community.”

“I couldn’t help but thinking that this kind of oppression is happening again 150 years later,” he continued, as people in the gallery of the board room began to audibly gasp. “The BC school act, the Canadian Charter of Human Rights, and international law…”

“Someone stop him,” an audience member said.

“Let him speak,” another one said.

“…uphold the right of parents to direct all aspects of their children’s education,” Neufeld continued. “The Ontario Court of Appeal in a recent decision in November stated clearly: ‘The right of parents to care for their children and make decisions for their well being, including decisions on education, is primary and the states authority is secondary to that parental right.’”

Earlier in the evening, he also questioned Dan Bibby, who was at the meeting for a presentation on the many positive partnerships between the Ministry of Children and Families Chilliwack and the Chilliwack School District.

Neufeld stated that the BC Teachers Federation policy is that “if a child confesses to a school district employee that they have feelings of same sex attraction or is transgender, the policy is that they will not notify the parents but will instead call in your ministry to do an evaluation.”

Many people against the teacher resource called SOGI 123 believe that teachers are not allowed to tell parents if a student identifies as transgender, because student confidentiality is listed on the SOGI 123 website.

Neufeld asked Bibby what the protocols, services, and protections are to “restore harmony to the family,” in situations where a child announces they are gay, lesbian or transgender.

Bibby said there hasn’t been a situation like that he’s aware of. He referred to Section 13 of their act, that lays out policy that staff would in fact interview the children, and parents, and make an assessment from there.

“From my knowledge, we’ve never had a case where we’ve assessed from that situation.”

Just Posted

Surrey hunter fined $10,000 after shooting a bull moose and leaving it to die

The man was convicted for three Wildlife Act offences after shooting a bull moose not in season

VIDEO: Surrey-based business wants customers to ‘Eat the Dishes’

New business plans to be one of the ongoing vendors at KPU’s new winter market

Tonight’s Surrey RCMP Classic final: Cloverdale and South Surrey school teams to battle

Elsewhere, Holy Cross boys team aims to win another BC Catholics championship on home court

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help in finding missing 14-year-old

Police say Ali Al-Shai was last seen on Jan. 16

Province to pass $1.25-million repair bill for South Surrey overpass on to ICBC

152 Street overpass was struck by overheight truck on Dec. 4, 2017

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Lower Mainland-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read