Concerns over a Chilliwack, British Columbia, school board trustee's controversial Facebook post continued last Friday, as a group of concerned citizens gathered for a protest.
On Aug. 4, a small group of concerned citizens gathered in Chilliwack's downtown core to demand more disciplinary action be taken against one of the district's newest school board trustees.
The small groups' concerns match that of many B.C. citizens who have recently expressed outrage online about the discriminatory meme shared and since removed by Teri Westerby, School District 33's "first openly trans man" to be elected.
The Barbie-themed meme shows a rainbow steamroller operated by brightly clothed characters rejoicing as they are about to steamroll over frightened characters without coloured garments on, who are also labelled as traditional family, sanctity of marriage and Christian values.
The board's chair, Willow Reichelt, who has earned a reputation for arbitrarily silencing concerns related to sexually explicit books in schools and biological males in female spaces, eventually came to Westerby's defence with an apology posted to social media.
While the statement did include an apology on behalf of the board, it also provided excuses for Westerby's decision to post the meme, implying that those who found the elected official's decision to share a meme that celebrates the destruction of Christian values and traditional families as hateful or promoting violence, got it wrong.
Some felt the apology was backhanded in nature and that Westerby, who often claims to stand against what the trustee sees as hate and bigotry, should resign.
"It’s actually not the first time that something like this has been posted publicly," Cindy Carpenter told Rebel News. Carpenter was the one who organized the protest to raise awareness about Westerby’s actions. Just a few days prior to posting the steamroll Christian values meme, Westerby posted another meme mocking Catholicism on Facebook.
Carpenter, who is also a mom of children enrolled in SD33, added that although she isn’t a Christian herself, she believes that an elected official who is tasked with looking over the education of all children in the district and a leader in the Chilliwack Pride Society, should know that they are to be inclusive of all children, including Christian ones.
At the time of covering the protest, Westerby had still not made any public statements or apologies regarding the meme. The trustee did eventually take to Facebook last weekend claiming to be in complete shock over people taking the meme literally, and having been away from internet connection whilst camping for a week despite having found time to remove the meme days before making a comment.
The trustee apologized for any hurt citizens may have felt and further claimed to have received hateful messages and even death threats without providing an example of such for the public to see.
Aside from SD33 trustee Heather Maahs, who responded by expressing concerns about the meme prior to chair Reichelt or Westerby’s apology, Rebel News has not received a response to our inquiries made to the board for them to share comments for our reports on the matter.
We have not received a response from the RCMP at this time concerning whether or not they are aware of any death threats being made towards any of the SD33 trustees since Westerby posted the steamroller meme.
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