CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) – He used the “R word” to describe three local journalists, and now a controversial Chilliwack school trustee is facing the wrath of the online world — again.
Barry Neufeld has repeatedly generated negative headlines for his outspoken views on things like LGBTQ curriculum and the coronavirus. He has offended many people and been censured by the Chilliwack school board.
After the uproar caused by a “community hero award” he received from the local MP’s office, Neufeld took aim at three journalists at the Chilliwack Progress for their coverage, using a derogatory term for people with disabilities in a now-deleted Facebook post on Thursday.
I love @CHWKcommunity’s journalism – she is a freaking badass. Barry Neufeld is a d**k and an embarrassment to this province, and we all know it. Chilliwack sure has had more than its share of “bad apples” in elected office. Don’t let the b*****ds get you down, Jessica. https://t.co/bmLisavQYu
— Lesli Boldt (@LesliBoldt) November 20, 2020
From disability advocates to educators to everyday people, an avalanche of Twitter posts are calling Neufeld “horrible,” “reprehensible” and “ignorant” for his use of the word.
“To say #Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld is human trash is an insult to trash,” Patti Bacchus, an education advocate and former Vancouver School Board trustee, writes on Twitter. “What a horrid human. Just a f***ing horrid.”
B.C.’s Education Minister, Rob Fleming says he is appalled by Neufeld’s comments in a Twitter thread, backing calls for his resignation.
“I am once again appalled by the comments of Mr. Neufeld on social media and I am renewing my public calls for him to resign as a school trustee. It’s reprehensible that his offensive behaviour,” he writes.
I’m now looking at all possible options that Government may have to address this situation. Under the School Act, Cabinet has the power to remove an entire board but not an individual trustee.
— Rob Fleming (@Rob_Fleming) November 20, 2020
“I’m now looking at all possible options that Government may have to address this situation. Under the School Act, Cabinet has the power to remove an entire board but not an individual trustee,” Fleming adds.
He also said he wants the BC Liberals to denounce Neufeld and his harmful comments.
Many continue to question how Neufeld continues to be a school trustee.
— Rich Overgaard (@RichTweets) November 20, 2020
How is this man a school trustee?
Obviously someone told him to edit his choice of words but not before people took a screenshot.
I can’t believe he won a so-called ‘community hero award’. Shame on anyone involved in supporting this troll. #bced pic.twitter.com/wpCcztmpqs
— Tamara Taggart (@tamarataggart) November 20, 2020
What the heck's wrong with this guy?!?!?
Appalled to see Barry Neufeld go from gem to gem – again. pic.twitter.com/kPHWYpLJrC
— Morgane Oger (@MorganeOgerBC) November 20, 2020
Another online petition demanding Neufeld be fired was launched Thursday evening, attracting almost 1,000 signatures by early Friday morning.
— Carrie Bercic (@CarrieBercic) November 20, 2020
Neufeld was condemned by educators for implying in a Facebook post that the World Health Organization cannot be trusted to relay accurate information about the coronavirus because it supports gender affirmative healthcare and access to abortion. Neufeld also suggested — citing Wikipedia as a source — that Dr. Theresa Tam was transgender and that, if so, her gender identity makes her less credible.
In 2018, Fleming, and the Chilliwack School Board joined a call for Neufeld to resign.
That call came after Neufeld posted opposing SOGI 123, the provincially mandated, anti-bullying curriculum meant to support marginalized LGBTQ students.