The central Alberta school board that disqualified a trustee who posted a meme to social media comparing the LGBTQ2S+ community to Nazi Germany on Friday issued its reasons for ousting her, which include code-of-conduct violations and failure to communicate in a manner outlined in its policies.
The 18-page document, issued by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools in a media release early Friday evening, outlined the board’s dispute with Monique LaGrange that started with her post to social media on Aug. 27 that showed a picture of children waving swastika flags above a picture of children waving Pride flags, with the caption “brainwashing is brainwashing.”
The post was subsequently criticized widely by groups including parents, students, LGBTQ2S+ entities, the Alberta Teachers Association, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center and some Alberta government figures but was also supported by others.
The board placed sanctions on LaGrange on Sept. 26 after finding she had violated the Trustee Code of Conduct, banning her from being part of any board committees, representing the board in any official capacity or attending board committee meetings until she completed sensitivity training and wrote a sincere letter of apology.
On Oct. 13, the board concluded that LaGrange violated its policies and ordered her to issue a sincere apology, take sensitivity training and recognize that her post “hurt feelings.”
But LaGrange insisted “the post is not about the LGBTQ [sic] community” and that the discipline process was “tainted by procedural unfairness and bias,” a decision released Oct. 17 by the board states.
LaGrange’s lawyer James Kitchen, who said in October that she would not apologize, said in an email to CTV News Edmonton on Nov. 14 that she did not willingly resign her position and that the board “kicked her off,” an action which, due to two sections of the Education Act, required her to quit.
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