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Board trustees saddle up



The new SD33 School Board Trustees are sworn in Tuesday, November 13. Below, trustees vote on nominations to various designations on the board.






he road to the 2018 elections was a bumpy one for School District 33 (SD33) elections with 17 trustee candidates scrambling for 7 seats. The final seat was a razor tight race separating candidates Jared Mumford and Kaethe Jones by just 34 votes with Mumford coming out on top.

Over the next 4 years, three incumbents: chair Dan Coulter, Barry Neufeld and Heather Maahs will be mentoring the 4 newbies: Willow Reichelt, David Swankey, Dr. Darrell Furgason and Jared Mumford on how to work together as a team.


Right off the bat what we've got is a failure to communicate. Most people don't understand the inner workings of school boards. They're not built on continental shifts. Trustees need to be on the same page. There's no bickering. They get the job done. Class sizes, programming. They create new and innovative ways for teachers to engage students and improve academic achievements. There's not supposed to be room on the board for narcissist trustees to detract from educational mandates and politicize anything.

After the elections, SD33 trustees suited up for the job in the middle of political strife inheriting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) an issue first posited in 2016. Now the majority of trustees have enough traction to do what activists want.


Before the elections, supporters hit the streets learning as went. They assumed their militaristic stance without pushback from the community. There's never been a poll Chilliwack residents could sink their teeth into. How do you stop the train and get on or off without a poll?


The gender-critical precedent was set with hype during the election campaigns which has been successful in opening up a deep fiord on the school board with more trustees who want SOGI heaped onto current curriculum than those who don't want it. So don't expect a conduit of understanding anytime soon.



The case for SOGI rests entirely upon bullying. That's initially what the argument was about. Lately, it's been like watching a bad coming of age teen movie.


Instead of being viewed as just bullying, SOGI activist's objective is more word-salad and corrugated plans by insisting transgender bullying is an exclusive type of abuse. If so, then they'll have to advocate against bullying for Kids With Big Ears (KWBE) or Kids With Crooked Teeth (KWCT) as well.


We've seen finger-pointing from the SOGI cabal and the labeling of some people against the introduction of transgender programs in schools as "draconian", "transphobic" and even "fascist". Mussolini and Hitler aren't in the room. Really.



It's entirely possible that SOGI's giving bullying a new twist by luring even more kids to experiment, thus creating the possibility of more victims of schoolyard bullying.



Assuredly, they shouldn't send kids to battle on the frontlines, but frothing activists weaponized transgender creating what's called "gender dysphoria" using kids as body shields in their march.

Boomer's had Sex Ed class in grade 12. The pro-SOGI crowd say kids are less informed now. On slow news days the lefties have gotten a lot of mainstream media's attention by insisting kids are different in 2018 with 3D Killer Zombie gaming than they were in the "Leave It To Beaver" days. There's the internet now where they can learn all they need to know about Sex Ed in a mouse click. Some say kids are smarter and have higher IQ's now than when Archie comics were popular, but now kids have a lot more coming at them from all directions.

Being a trustee hasn't changed. They still centre around the academic principles as with the Boomers. The board trundles along propping up student achievement wherever possible.


Only time will tell if the new trustees will want to help build the airplane or just ride it and if they can get past division and brow beating. They'll have to move with trepidation and not too far ahead of the headlights on SOGI because Maahs and Neufeld have a lot of backing from people in the community.

Heather Maaahs has a big support for her years of service

as a trustee in Chilliwack.

Maahs was recently quoted as saying boys were falling behind girls in academic performance.

"There's been too much made of social media to keep kids focused," said Maahs. "I'd like to see more emphasis on basic things like math and reading skills and cursive writing skills."


Neufeld wrote in an e-mail that he enjoyed working with SD33 School Superintendent Evelyn Novak in the past but that she seems more loyal now to the Ministry of Education than her Board of Trustees.


"I was not happy that she surreptitiously implemented SOGI 1-2-3 in Gr. 11-12 in 2016 without informing the board," said Neufeld in an e-mail to The Voice. "I did take the opportunity to reach out to Diane Braun, chair of DPAC, and said I hoped the new board would develop a better working relationship with the parents. She was polite and civil, despite the fact that I 'went after' Justine Hodge, the former DPAC chair," he explained.


In the past Neufeld feels he was more connected with unions.


"I used to get endorsements and funding by the District Labor Council and the BCGEU. I support some progressive ideas like pacifism, restorative justice, concern for the poor and homeless, combating human trafficking and extra programs for special needs children," he continued. "However on other issues, I am a social conservative."


He described being born in a home for unwed mothers, and subsequently adopted, he's very pro life.



I think the LGBTQ+ lifestyle is rife with health risks. I used to have a lot of gay friends back in the 70's but they're all dead now.



"I still think encouraging children to transition is child abuse," he wrote in his e-mail.


Novak has since taken a 12-week leave of absence due to an undisclosed illness.


While looking for comment from trustee Willow Reichert at the schmooze afterward, she bristled with: "I know who are and I don't want to talk to you." The last time I spoke with her was in the summer during her campaign, before nominations, she was equally reluctant and unprofessional in her egosphere when casually asked if Barry Neufeld was running in the elections and she blurted out with condescending reference before stomping away, "I hope not."

Councillor moonbeam will need to round off her corners and avoid shreikerism in order to be a productive trustee. Right now it seems to be more about about power in a banana republic for her. Even if she gets what she wants re: SOGI, it's still going to be a long 4-year learning curve depending on if and when she sets aside her activist-style agenda and gets on with programming.

David Swankey, another sunshine trustee, and former failed NDP campaign manager, jammed out when asked for comment also making it obvious that he, like Reichert, would hang his jacket on the SOGI coat hook.


"I'll have to ask my colleagues before I say anything," he said like Spock.


Not apparent in the Swankey swamp is that there's other things to talk about like the campaign promises he latched onto such as free and more bussing. It would have been interesting to hear how he planned to implement those items.


Jared Mumford was more intelligent and less defensive than some of his peers when asked if he had anything on his radar that he wanted to accomplish over the next four years.


"I'd like to open more lines communication between the board and District Parent Advisory Council aka DPAC, because right now there's a need and I'd like to see the board make more of a commitment to that."


SOGI supporters feel that people without children shouldn't have anything to say in the matter.


Dr. Darrell Furguson says parents have been losing control over what they think is best for their own children.


"It (SOGI) doesn't require approval from parents and so they lose their rights. Parents want to reaffirm their relationships with their kids and take back responsibility from the district and the curriculum,"  said trustee, Furguson."You can't alter a person's chromosomes. Once they're XX you can't change that to XY no matter what you do."


Dr Darrell Furguson, was born in Chilliwack before earning his PhD overseas now works at giving Biblical Worldview training programs, seminars and courses.


Another fundamental dynamic of the SOGI-fits-all program is over the use of washrooms which hasn't been discussed.


Local transgender, Jenn Smith, who's anti-SOGI, plans on giving a presentation to the school board.


Kari Simpson, president of a group called Culture Guard, who's been girding up against SOGI supporters has been quoted as saying it's a "Dangerous agenda".

Simpsom addressed SD33 superintendent Evelyn Novak in a letter writing that she is attempting to disengage trustees from reality by failing to inform them about the “goals” set by SOGI 123.

Simpson wrote: "If adopted, these “goals” will transform Chilliwack classrooms into brainwashing venues for the radicalization of children/students into a world of lunacy — void of fact, critical thinking o informed debate. Perhaps that’s what she means when she asserted on slide SOGI 1223 and that her goal was to create opportunities for “ learning, risk-taking and innovation.”

Sex change operations in BC got a huge financial boost when a week ago last Friday, the BC government announced the province would be paying $75 million for reconstructive "gender-affirming surgeries" within Vancouver Coastal Health starting in 2019. In addition, trans people throughout the province now have improved access to publicly funded gender-affirming chest and breast surgeries.



A total of 14 surgeons will provide these surgeries in Burnaby, Kamloops, Kelowna, Port Moody, Prince George, Vancouver and Victoria.


"The trans community has advocated over a number of years for improved access to care, including access to complex lower surgeries within B.C.," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "For those seeking lower surgery, people were required to travel to Montreal or to the U.S., resulting in additional medical risks associated with travelling long distance after surgery and in receiving follow-up care if there were complications."

Transgender isn't anything new. It's been around since the Egyptians.  Even during the Civil War, 200 women put on men's clothing and fought as male soldiers. Some were transgender and lived the rest of their lives as men, such as Albert Cashier.

Sex changes were unheard of to most people until 1952 when word about Christine Jorgensen burst onto the scene that she had a sex change. It immediately thrust her to stardom as being the first widely-publicized person to have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

Psychiatrists and endocrinologists are generally reluctant to provide hormone therapy to youths under 16 and obtaining sex reassignment surgery prior to the age of 18 is almost impossible to get in most countries.

A startling case comes out of Australia where a 4-year-old child underwent a sex-change operation. There's no indication of why the parents wanted to change their child's gender but speculation is they weren't happy with what they got.


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