(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

Construction has begun on the new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford. (Screengrab from video by CHP Architects)
Construction begins on new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford

School, including childcare spaces, is set to open in September 2022

Bill Hireen joined Remembrance Day celebrations in Abbotsford in 2019. The veteran and long-time civic supporter passed away on Dec. 31, 2020. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Long-time Abbotsford city council supporter dies of COVID-19

Bill Hireen was a frequent visitor to council and police board meetings

Uber Eats has announced that it is now delivering food orders in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Submitted photo by Justin Walker)
Uber Eats announces expansion into Abbotsford

Food-delivery company is staring with 60 local restaurants

Nakota Hinksman had been reported missing in Abbotsford, but has since been located.
UPDATE: Missing teen with autism has been located in Abbotsford

Nakota Hinksman, 18, had been missing since 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday

NHL Central Scouting has ranked three Abbotsford hockey talents as likely to be drafted in 2021. (Twitter photo)
Trio of Abbotsford hockey talents placed on NHL watch list

Abbotsford’s Chiasson, Milne and Sward all ranked as C grade prospects for 2021 NHL draft

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

Most Read