The BCTF has filed a human rights complaint against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld who started a campaign against LGBTQ youth and made controversial statements online.

BCTF files human rights complaint against B.C. school trustee over LGBTQ comments

Chilliwack school trustee’s ongoing vitriol towards transgender youth and campaign against LGBTQ spurs claim

Chilliwack’s most controversial school trustee is up against it again as the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the Chilliwack Teachers’ Association (CTA) have filed a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

The BCTF complaint says that while Barry Neufeld claims he does not “hate” transgender children, “his statements subject transgender people to hatred.”

Neufeld’s ongoing social media and real life campaign against the LGBTQ community in general and, more specifically, the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI 123) curriculum spurred the complaint.

In the past, Neufeld has called himself a prophet for his stance against the gay community.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack school trustee calls himself a prophet

Neufeld has referred to supporting transgender children as “child abuse” first as a Facebook post, then at a speech on Nov. 21, 2017 at an event run by a conservative anti-LGBTQ group out of Langley called “Culture Guard.”

Neufeld’s repeated comments against SOGI has led to protests at the school board office, and for the board to ask for his resignation, something he declined to do.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack board of education asks Neufeld to resign

“Here is my prophecy to the Church,” Neufeld said in another Facebook post, something that forms one part of the complaint. “If you don’t get off your duffs and push back against this insidious new teching [sic], the day is coming (maybe it is already here) when the government will apprehend your children and put them in homes where they will be encouraged to explore homosexuality and gender fluidity.”

At the school board’s meeting on April 10, Neufeld addressed the BCTF/CTA human rights complaint, stating that he was supported by Chilliwack MLA John Martin and Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness.

“The good news is our meeting with our two MLAs who are getting a lot of calls about me,” Neufeld said. “I’m thankful that I have the support of both Chilliwack MLAs.”

Indeed, Throness has repeatedly called Neufeld’s anti-LGBTQ campaign “brave” and the MLA has defended Neufeld’s refusal to respond answer questions or provide comment to The Progress.

Martin, however, explained to The Progress that to serve his constituents he needs to consult and work with different levels of government, so he does not put forth any opinion about elected officials in other branches.

“As the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Chilliwack I make it a point not to support or oppose any of my elected colleagues be they councilors, Members of Parliament, school trustees or the Mayor,” Martin said Thursday.

According to the filing from Jan. 29 with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, the BCTF and CTA seek an order stating Neufeld has breached the human rights code, an order that he refrain from continuing to do so, and an order of payment to a non-profit organization that advocates for LGBTQ youth that works against discrimination.

“When viewed objectively, taking account of the context and circumstances, Trustee Neufeld’s statements are likely to expose transgender individuals to hatred,” the complaint alleges.

“Trustee Neufeld made repeated statements exposing transgender individuals, their families, and teachers who provide an inclusive supportive of transgender students, to hatred. Even after he purported to offer an apology, Trustee Neufeld made further hateful statements.”

The BCTF quietly made the complaint back in January without any public announcement, they say because they did not want to give Neufeld any “more mic time” during that period when the alt-right Culture Guard group was organizing events.

Grievances against Neufeld have also been filed by the union alleging breaches of the collective agreement by the school district as employer.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Decision time is coming for Masset schools

School board to decide soon whether to close Tahayghen Elementary School

Mount Moresby Adventure Camp aims to protect trails, ecosystems with expanded tenure

New tenure boundaries would also allow MMAC to rebuild lakeside dock for campers and general public

Signs of the Yakoun’s power

Shifting logs along the Golden Spruce Trail are almost certainly signs of powerful flooding

Court to rule on Husby injunction against protest at Collison Point

A B.C. Supreme Court judge will soon decide whether to grant an… Continue reading

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Province seeks feedback on caribou recovery program

Government has committed $27 million to protect and preserve B.C.’s caribou herds

‘Enough is enough’: G7 ministers agree to call Russia out

‘Enough is enough’: G7 ministers agree to call Russia out on ‘malign’ behaviour

Cosby jury to decide: Serial rapist or con artist’s mark

Bill Cosby is at the courthouse Tuesday morning ahead of closing arguments in his sexual assault retrial.

Trump: ‘Our hearts are with the grieving families in Canada’

U.S. President Donald Trump is offering his condolences to Canadians

Trudeau calls van attack ‘horrific and senseless’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls van attack ‘horrific and senseless,’ says no apparent terror link

Officer’s actions ‘one shining moment’ after Toronto van attack

Arresting officer’s actions ‘one shining moment’ in the wake of Toronto van attack

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Most Read