Time for Barry Newfeld to go.

 

Barry Neufeld believes conversion therapy works “in some cases” despite it being illegal in many jurisdictions and deemed unethical in Canada

 

The Chilliwack School Board has officially asked Barry Neufeld to resign, finally.

The trustees voted to act in-camera under mounting pressure after Neufeld initiated a bully campaign against  President of the District Parent Advisory Council of Chilliwack Justine Hodge that resulted in the parent volunteer to be bombarded by hateful and threatening messages from social-conservative extremists, prompting the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, BCCPAC, to write a letter in defense of the Chilliwack DPAC, stating their support and asking for

“In light of what you and the DPAC are currently facing, the BCCPAC Board of Directors made a unanimous decision at the January 11 board meeting to write the Chilliwack Board of Education to consider a review of the codes of conduct to ensure all members of your school communities – including the DPAC – do not feel intimidated or threatened”

– BCCPAC

The Chilliwack School Board’s action comes following a number of missteps by Neufeld which included equating supporting transgender children to child abuse in September and advising people in a public setting that therapies aimed to transform the sexuality or gender identity, also known as conversion therapy, are one way to address the situation when a child declares themselves transgender or gay.

I spoke to Trustee Neufeld on a number of occasions and urged him to stop his outrageous actions in order to not become the case-study in how to ruin a legacy by testing the patience of British Columbians with hateful drivel.

I followed up with some video messages to get his attention.

First in November:

Then in December:

Predictably, Neufeld did not pick up the phone.

Sexual orientation and gender identity or expression are explicitly protected by British Columbian and Canadian law and the country recognizes attempts to pathologize protected communities as hate speech.

Despite Community efforts to rein in Neufeld in and explain to him the bases of the protections whose implementations he opposes, Barry Neufeld repeated his statements, appearing at public events condemning institutions that have put in place the protections required by our human rights law, supported in 2016 by 84% of Canadians in an Angus Reid Foundation poll. His statements went from bad to worse, buoyed by bad advice by hate groups and TV evangelist personalities who seem have utterly lost the plot regarding the attitudes of Canadians when it comes to extremist conservative views and supremacist ideologies.

After a human rights complaint against the Chilliwack Board of Education and Barry Neufeld by the local chapter of the Canadian Union of public employees, CUPE411, and followed by a vote of loss of confidence by the Chilliwack Teachers Association for creating a toxic environment and calls by parent groups for his resignation, the Chilliwack School Board acted on January 18th to demand the resignation of Neufeld.

The board released the statement on Friday morning, following another heated week of discussions surrounding Neufeld’s statements about sexual orientation and gender identity policies in schools.

“Trustee Neufeld has publicly expressed strong opinions in opposition to the changes in the B.C. Human Rights Code that was expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity,”

– Chilliwack Board of Education (SD33)

They passed a motion in an in-camera meeting on Jan. 18,

“because of a loss in confidence in Trustee Neufeld’s ability to effectively perform the duties of a Trustee.”

– Chilliwack Board of Education (SD33)

BC Minister of Education Rob Fleming followed the next day with his own  call to resign, saying that:

“While individuals are entitled to their opinions, Mr. Neufeld has jeopardized student safety, divided his school community, and acted against board and ministry policies.”

– Minister of Education Rob Flemming

This was avoidable.

Barry Neufeld could easily have walked back his statements when he initially made them. It appears that very Neufeld sought the advice of culture guard, a notorious extreme conservative pressure group in British Columbia who stated goal is to create a religious state. I reached out to Neufeld publicly to help him find a way off his personal cliff, but never heard from him.

It very well may be that Barry Neufeld’s purpose will turn out to have been to act as a cautionary tale for the consequences of listening to hate groups. for now, Educators and parents throughout British Columbia are watching and waiting to see whether Barry Neufeld will here his stakeholders and resign so that Educators in Chilliwack can get on with the business of educating and stop having to deal with the hateful consequences of Neufeld and Culture Guard’s actions.

Neufeld will not get away with his stance.

Human rights, once they are won, are fiercely defended.

 

Note: I expressed the my concerns with Neufeld’s public position on LGBTQ issues on an earlier post in this blog.

Don’t trick the customer

The problem with University of Toronto Professor Ken Zucker‘s Gender Identity Gender Identity Clinic for children and youth at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)  in Toronto when it was closed in 2015 was that the client was the kid rather than the parent, and the customer shouldn’t be tricked. 

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Gender identity isn’t about dolls or stereotypes and being transgender has been recognized as part of gender diversity for years. Why didn’t the CAMH Gender Identity Clinic get the memo?

Dr. Ken Zucker was head of CAHM until it was closed following an assessment brought on by complaints related to the care clients received there. As head, Dr. Zucker held a leadership role in a public institution. Part of that role was to ensure that the centre provided the best care possible for his trans, gender-variant, and gender-creative clients, in accordance with Canadian and global standards. The authoritative standard of care for professionals in this field is published by the World Professional Association of Trans Health, WPATH.

Continue reading “Don’t trick the customer”

The Massacre at Montréal and Supremacy’s Poison

We were sitting at a large drafting table in the naval architecture lab in the Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering building at UBC when someone came in and said it had happened. My own initial emotion was of incredulous shock.

It took some time for the horrible reality of what had happened to trickle in: A heavily-armed young man had separated out women and then massacred them in the engineering school in Montreal. Because they were women and he was murderously

NewsPiece.jpg angry at women.

On December 6, 1989, when we first heard reports that a terrorist had attacked Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, I was a 2nd-year mechanical engineering student at UBC.

I will never forget where I was when I learned about it, because it is permanently seared into the memory of all Canadian women I know who were adults at the time.

Many of the victims were our age that day. We were enrolled in the same program as them: mechanical engineering.  These women, whose lives were savagely snuffed out by that angry man’s rage, had beaten incredible odds just to be enrolled in mechanical engineering.  They were students in a space that was already struggling with its toxicity to women.

Continue reading “The Massacre at Montréal and Supremacy’s Poison”

My question to the Chilliwack Board of Education

Tonight I was at the Chilliwack Board of Education’s trustee meeting to ask a question seeking clarification about the individual personal commitment of each trustee to uphold the law of British Columbia.

I came to Chilliwack and asked this question because in BC the curriculum is decided by the teachers and the Ministry of Education together and trustees are responsible for doing the opposite from what Trustee Neufeld did when he publicly published and then re-iterated that supporting transgender students was child abuse.

This is the question I asked:

Continue reading “My question to the Chilliwack Board of Education”

Things I’d love to see in a reinstated BC Human Rights Commission

The BC Human Rights Commission (BCHRC) was disbanded by the BC Liberal Government in 2002 and replaced with a Human Rights Tribunal amid complaints about a clogged system and public opinion that the Commission was handling outlandish cases such as the protection of transgender rights. It is being reinstated by the BC NDP Government in 2018.

BC needs an adequately–funded and accessible human rights commission which monitors problems and intervenes bindingly to address systemic issues at institutional, policy, and legislative levels. The commission would maintain and operate a low-barrier human rights tribunal for British Columbians to lodge complaints the commission has not already noticed.

Continue reading “Things I’d love to see in a reinstated BC Human Rights Commission”

Peterson’s Petulance Problem

Jordan Peterson is burdened by the impossible oppression of actually having a job.

Peterson, The Saviour of Grammar and Protector of Science

When his employer requested that he address all students in class with the requisite courtesy customary of students, even if some prefer the singular they, Peterson took profound exception and flipped a proverbial table.  Refusing to yield to pressure to extend the same courtesy to others that he presumably expects for himself, Peterson went on a defiant rampage  declaring loudly and publicly:

“I’m not going to cede linguistic territory to post-modernist neo-Marxists” [1].

Continue reading “Peterson’s Petulance Problem”