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

More B.C. ambulance service needed in the North: Hospital chief of staff

Fort St. James physicians talk about the need for easier access to healthcare

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

Cullen remains uncertain about political future

Says he’ll make decision in early March

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Junior Team Canada brings home gold to B.C., again

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Most Read