Controversy has once again hit Chilliwack, British Columbia's school board, as a grandmother is suing the board for censoring her during a meeting.
On June 13, Lynda di Armani, a Chilliwack resident and former school employee, took the microphone at a Chilliwack School District 33 board meeting to pose a question regarding a proposal to promote the Pride flag in the district's schools.
“I was trying to raise the conflict of interest since we have a trustee that was a director of marketing for the Pride Society bringing forth a motion to raise special interest flags, and especially the Pride flag, that he wanted raised for the whole month of June,” di Armani told Rebel News in an exclusive video interview.
The trustee in question, whom di Armani named, is Teri Westerby, a transgender individual who served as the Chilliwack Pride executive director. Westerby had recently gained attention for sharing Christophobic memes on social media.
Before di Armani could finish her question, her microphone was muted, and District 33's vice chair, Carin Bondar, accused her of being "discriminatory toward a member" of the board.
According to the district's Bylaw 5, section 3.4, “Any Trustee with a conflict of interest shall immediately declare it and follow the guidelines in Policy 131 Trustee Conflict of Interest.”
However, after Bondar accused di Armani of posing a discriminatory question, the board's chair, Willow Rechelt, added, "Sorry, we don't call out individual trustees by name, and it's not a conflict of interest."
Her experience of being arbitrarily silenced by the board is far from an isolated incident. In February, the board faced criticism for censoring other concerned grandparents and a former school trustee colleague when they attempted to raise concerns about sexually explicit “SOGI inclusive” books within school libraries.
Click on the full video report above to hear more from di Armani about how, with the help of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which has taken on her case, she will be challenging the board in court so that other Chilliwack citizens can have their voices heard.
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