Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld (bottom right) lights a cigarette during a public school board meeting held via Zoom on Jan. 12. He was also seen drinking from a wine glass before his video feed cut out. (Screenshot)

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld (bottom right) lights a cigarette during a public school board meeting held via Zoom on Jan. 12. He was also seen drinking from a wine glass before his video feed cut out. (Screenshot)

Controversial Chilliwack trustee causes stir online after sleeping, smoking during Zoom meeting

Chilliwack school board also asked Barry Neufeld to resign due to controversial Facebook post

A Chilliwack school trustee has been asked to resign by the board he sits on.

The school board held an in-camera meeting on Jan. 12, before the regular public meeting, and voted in favour of asking Barry Neufeld to resign. Neufeld had already been censured previously with the ramification being he can’t attend in-camera meetings.

Neufeld didn’t respond to the statement, which was read by vice-chair Jared Mumford. The meeting was held via Zoom.

About five minutes later, Neufeld steps away from his computer and shortly returns. He leans in and lights a cigarette, and then takes a drink from a wine glass. Immediately after that, his video feed cuts out.

He also appears to fall asleep shortly after his video feed restarts. All of this takes place during a presentation by Sardis secondary staff to name their field after successful sports alumnus Rick Klassen.

READ MORE: Sardis secondary looking to name sports field after Rick Klassen

Board chair Willow Reichelt said they will be looking further into the matter.

“Trustees are expected to set a good example and display professional conduct at all times,” she said. “We will be addressing this matter internally.”

The Chilliwack school board joins a list of those asking Neufeld to resign. The calls stem from a Nov. 19, 2020 Facebook post in which he used the R-word to describe several staff at The Chilliwack Progress.

Then-Minister of Education Rob Fleming called for his resignation at the time, and newly-elected Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside has echoed that call.

She also tasked two appointees to assess the board and its actions, and that includes interviewing members of the board and watching their meetings.

They will be submitting their final report to Whiteside on Feb. 26.

The Progress has reached out to Neufeld for comment.

READ MORE: Chilliwack school trustee under fire again – this time for offensive slur at journalists


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

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