(Barry Neufeld/Facebook)

BC School Trustees Association president keeps heat on Chilliwack Trustee Barry Neufeld

In a news release, Stephanie Higginson called on voters to take careful note of Neufeld’s behaviour

BC School Trustees Association President Stephanie Higginson continues to condemn Chilliwack School Trustee Barry Neufeld for comments he made last week.

Neufeld used an ableist slur in a Facebook post to describe three Black Press employees, drawing immediate ire on social media.

Higginson tweeted about it earlier in the week, and added more thoughts in a BCSTA news release sent out Friday morning.

“Barry Neufeld’s use of a slur against people with developmental disabilities is reprehensible and reflects poorly on the office he holds,” Higginson said. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time Neufeld has used hurtful language – there is an extended pattern of abusive language that can no longer be excused as a simple slip-up.

READ MORE: B.C. Education minister, Chilliwack-Kent MLA-elect call for Neufeld to step down

READ MORE: In a letter, Former Chilliwack mayor says Barry Neufeld must apologize and resign

“We look to boards of education and school trustees as leaders in our communities to set the examples needed to create supportive learning settings. BCSTA condemns Neufeld’s hurtful language and acknowledges the real harm his words have caused people in the developmental disability community.”

Neufeld is no stranger to controversy, and he has taken significant heat over his latest comments.

Now-former BC Education Minister Rob Fleming and newly minted Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon both called on him to step down this week, and as of Friday morning 11,481 people and counting had signed an online petition supporting his removal from the Chilliwack School Board.

But while there are ways to limit an individual trustee’s influence, there is no way to remove Neufeld from the school board unless he leaves voluntarily or is voted out in the next election.

“The Chilliwack Board of Education has taken steps to censure Neufeld, and I applaud the board’s efforts to clearly signal that the use of such disrespectful and exclusionary language is intolerable,” Higginson noted. “I trust that voters in Chilliwack will note Neufeld’s behaviour and will act accordingly when the time comes to cast their ballots in the next municipal election.”

“Today I am affirming BCSTA’s core values of equality, inclusivity and dignity. We will continue to support boards of education across B.C. in building strong, effective and inclusive governance structures to ensure all students have access to the best public education possible.”

BCSTA serves and supports all 60 B.C. boards of education in their work of improving student achievement, including establishing welcoming, inclusive learning environments for all students.

BCSTA encourages participation in the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign to raise awareness of the harmful effect of language on vulnerable learners.

Visit spreadtheword.global for more info.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

@ProgressSports
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

chilliwackChilliwack School District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mackenzie Ashley-Lynn Gilfillan was last seen Jan. 10 in the 45000-block of Menholm Road. (RCMP photo)
RCMP asking for help to find missing Chilliwack woman

Mackenzie Ashley-Lynn Gilfillan was last seen Jan. 10 in the 45000-block of Menholm Road

Chilliwack Chiefs
Chilliwack Chiefs acquire forward Ben Woodhouse from Wellington Dukes

The BCHL club swapped future considerations to the Dukes for the 20-year-old forward

Two vehicle incidents eastbound on the Trans Canada Highway have been reported in Langley. (Google photo)
TRAFFIC: Two separate vehicle crashes on Highway 1 in Langley, one person taken to hospital

University Drive is closed between 216th Street and Glover Road

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

(Realtor.ca)
Rent dropped to 2019 rates across parts of Metro Vancouver in December: Rentals.ca report

Rent costs have declined since May, a trend expected to continue due in part to the COVID pandemic

Most Read