(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

Pixabay image
Surrey recovers 29,000 jobs it lost to pandemic

That’s according to Surrey Board of Trade’s fifth Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report on COVID-19

Delta City Hall. (James Smith photo)
Volunteers sought for City of Delta committees

Applications are due by Friday, Feb. 5

(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of Jan. 11

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

The SACH Community Hub team, from left to right: Upkar Singh Tatlay, Gary Thandi, Allysha Ram, Jassy Pandher, Harman Pander. (Submitted photo)
There’s help for South Asian men wrestling with drug addiction in Surrey

South Asian deaths related to toxic drugs increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

Most Read