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Chilliwack school trustee who used 'R word' the target of a lot of online anger

Last Updated Nov 20, 2020 at 2:12 pm PST

FILE - The Chilliwack school board trustee Barry Neufeld. (Photo courtesy Barry Neufeld, via Facebook)
Summary

School trustee Barry Neufeld is being slammed by many online after he called local journalists an ableist slur

The Chilliwack school trustee has been called 'horrible,' 'reprehensible,' 'ignorant' for his use of 'R word'

A petition calling for Neufeld's firing launched on Thursday after his latest controversy

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.

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,” 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.

Another online petition demanding Neufeld be fired was launched Thursday evening, attracting almost 1,000 signatures by early Friday morning.

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.