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

Benches made from wood that posed a fire risk in Lake Country

The parks team is making benches from the trees removed from the Jack Seaton Park

Family Day move a welcome change: poll

Okanagan readers voted that the new date for Family Day in B.C. is a positive change

Huge crack and bang heard as Wood Lake fractures

‘It was roaring across the lake,’ Lake Country woman recounts sound of crack in Wood Lake ice

Former Prime Minister comes to Kelowna

Stephen Harper will speak in Kelowna March 12

Global Music Fest to take over Creekside Theatre

The music festival will take place Feb. 23

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Okanagan College professor awarded for promoting financial literacy

Leigh Sindlinger received a Distinguished Service Award for inspiring financial literacy in youth

Poll: What do you think of Family Day weekend’s move?

Until this year, Family Day has fallen on the second Monday in February

Sicamous farmer’s A2 milk could help those with trouble digesting dairy

The milk which contains no A1 beta-casein, a cause of digestive problems for some, hits stores soon

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Most Read