A member of the Chilliwack school board, Barry Neufeld, has caused an uproar after he criticized the Ministry of Education for embracing "the LGBTQ lobby" and forcing a "biologically absurd theory on children in our schools".
In a Facebook post, Neufeld claimed that "allowing little children to choose gender is nothing short of child abuse".
"A few years ago, the Liberal minister of education instigated a new curriculum supposedly to combat bullying," Neufeld wrote. "But it quickly morphed into a weapon of propaganda to infuse every subject matter from K-12 with the latest fad: Gender theory."
He then purported that "the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) program instructs children that gender is not biologically determined, but is a social construct".
This led former Vancouver school board chair and Georgia Straight K-12 education columnist Patti Bacchus to call for Neufeld's resignation.
Bacchus chaired the Vancouver board of education in 2014 when it amended its sexual orientation and gender identities policy and regulations.
This ensured that students' confidentiality would be requested if they wanted to express their gender openly in public schools or if they were experiencing issues related to gender.
In addition, students were permitted to select washrooms and change rooms in accordance with their gender identity.
The B.C. School Trustees Association has endorsed the province's sexual orientation and gender identity policies and initiatives.
"In 2016, the Government amended the BC Human Right’s Code to include explicit protection for gender identity and expression, and, following that, the Ministry of Education required all public boards of education to address gender identity and expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination under their codes of conduct," the BCSTA states on its website. "BCSTA fully supports both the intent behind the decision and the requirement itself."
It adds: "As stewards of public schools and their students across our province, it is important that we speak out against intolerance and prejudice in any school district or community in British Columbia. The mission of the BCSTA is to support and advocate for improving student achievement for all students in BC. Embedded in that is the responsibility of upholding of each and every student’s and staff member’s right to a safe and inclusive environment, where they can express themselves without fear of discrimination or harassment."
Neufeld, however, clearly disagrees with the association's viewpoint.
"At the risk of being labelled a bigoted homophobe, I have to say that I support traditional family values," he wrote on his Facebook page.
He claimed that children "are being taught that heterosexual marriage is no longer the norm" and that teachers "must not refer to 'boys and girls' they are merely students".
"They cannot refer to mothers and fathers either. (Increasing numbers of children are growing up in homes with same sex parents)," Neufeld alleged. "If this represents the values of Canadian society, count me out! I belong in a country like Russia, or Paraguay, which recently had the guts to stand up to these radical cultural nihilists."