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Alberta schooling minister says it’s as much as Purple Deer faculty board to dismiss trustee

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Alberta Schooling Minister Demetrios Nicolaides says he can’t dismiss a college board trustee whose social media put up evaluating the LGBTQ motion to Nazi supporters continues to attract criticism.

Purple Deer Regional Catholic Faculty board trustee Monique LaGrange has come below fireplace because the put up surfaced final week. It depicted youngsters waving Satisfaction flags beneath a photograph of kids waving Nazi flags, with the caption “brainwashing is brainwashing.”

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After the board agreed to jot down the minister about LaGrange’s dismissal, Nicolaides, who has categorically condemned LaGrange’s actions, mentioned Thursday it’s as much as native trustees to resolve whether or not or to not boot her from the elected place.

“This matter is presently in entrance of the board, who has full authority and autonomy to disqualify a sitting trustee. The board has indicated that they’re looking for recommendation on the code of conduct, after which will proceed accordingly. The board has assured me that they’ll deal with this in a fast and efficient method. It is very important notice that below the Schooling Act I shouldn’t have the authority to take away or dismiss a single trustee, and solely the board has the flexibility to take action,” he mentioned in a press release.

LaGrange didn’t reply to a request for remark from Postmedia as of press time Thursday.

Whereas Purple Deer Catholic Regional Faculties issued a information launch Wednesday saying the board mentioned the difficulty at a particular Tuesday assembly and handed a movement for trustees to jot down to the schooling minister “as to the dismissal of trustee LaGrange,” it didn’t reply to requests from Postmedia looking for clarification Thursday.

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The Schooling Ministry confirmed it had not, as of Thursday night, obtained such a letter.

On the identical closed-door assembly, trustee Murray Hollman was appointed the brand new board chairman, changing Anne Marie Watson, though the discharge didn’t clarify the main points of why.

Nicolaides isn’t the primary to sentence trustee LaGrange’s public commentary.

Late Wednesday, Alberta Lecturers’ Affiliation president Jason Schilling joined the refrain of critics calling for motion. In a press release, Schilling mentioned if LaGrange doesn’t resign, the board should take away her, or Nicolaides should launch a proper evaluate. Schilling known as her put up “vile and repugnant” hate speech.

“Not solely does it serve to undermine the atrocities of the Nazi regime, however it additionally acts as a type of oppression to entice additional hatred towards members of the 2SLGBTQ+ neighborhood,” he mentioned.

“Assaults on sexual and gender various college students and college employees are growing to distinctive and troubling ranges. All of us are obligated to take motion and communicate out to guard the bodily security and psychological well-being of these below menace.”

The Central Alberta Satisfaction Society has known as for LaGrange to give up, and the Mates of Simon Wiesenthal Heart has supplied its personal denunciation.

“Evaluating the LGBTQ+ neighborhood to the Nazi regime, particularly contemplating the Nazis’ persecution of the minority group, is abhorrent and a type of Holocaust distortion,” the human rights non-profit acknowledged on social media.

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Over the weekend, Alberta NDP schooling critic Rakhi Pancholi known as on Nicolaides to launch a full investigation into LaGrange’s conduct.

“We can’t be assured that somebody with hateful views corresponding to these expressed by Purple Deer Catholic faculty trustee Monique LaGrange is placing the pursuits of kids first,” Pancholi mentioned in a Sunday information launch, declaring that the Schooling Act additionally permits for the minister to “make any order” he sees match following an investigation.

LaGrange is a distant relative, via marriage, to Alberta Well being Minister Adriana LaGrange.

For her half, the minister has mentioned she believes all college students ought to really feel protected and welcome in lecture rooms.

“I used to be disillusioned to find out about this social media put up and I disavow the message it sends,” she mentioned in a press release.

Alberta RCMP spokesperson Fraser Logan advised Postmedia in an e-mail Mounties take any allegation of hate-motivated incidents severely. “At the moment, we are able to say we’re conscious of the social media put up and are reviewing the matter.”

In June, the RCMP made a public name encouraging Albertans to report something they think to be a hate crime after a spike in current hate-related incidents concentrating on the LGBTQ neighborhood.

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