Calls for Resignation Intensify after Trustee’s Offensive LGBTQ2S+ Post Sparks Outrage

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Monique LaGrange, a trustee serving the Red Deer Catholic school board, has incited sharp criticism and escalating calls for her resignation following a controversial social media post which drew parallels between the LGBTQ2S+ community and Nazi Germany.

The contentious post, displayed on LaGrange’s Instagram page for a brief period before being purged, portrayed children brandishing the Nazi flag juxtaposed with children holding aloft pride flags. The caption inscribed under the images read, “Brainwashing is brainwashing,” a sentiment which drew immediate consternation from Red Deer’s LGBTQ2S+ community, even as the post vanished from the page.

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The Central Alberta Pride Society swiftly issued a letter to Red Deer Catholic’s board chair, demanding a public apology from LaGrange towards students, teachers, parents of the Red Deer Catholic School Division, and the LGBTQ2S+ community at large. The society further requested LaGrange by choice relinquish her board position or face compulsory removal forthwith.

The queer community questioningly responded to the comparison, intended or not, to a historical entity known for its persecution and extermination of its members. Alex Pugatschew of the Red Deer Queer Community Association echoed this sentiment and advocated for obligatory diversity and inclusivity training for LaGrange. Pugatschew acknowledged, however, the slim likelihood of such a mandate, backed up by what he viewed as a complacent response from the Catholic school board to the incident.

Although the school board remained noncommittal concerning LaGrange’s possible resignation, an announcement affirmed that the board of trustees will be reassessing its adherence to the code of conduct in due course.

Kristopher Wells, the Canada Research Chair for the Public Understanding of Sexual & Gender Minority Youth, shared his deep displeasure with LaGrange’s post, deeming it a propagation of hate. Wells further advocated for intervention from the education minister to oust the trustee from office.

Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides, now aware of the incident, expressed disappointment towards the incident in a statement, adding he condemned the post and reaffirming the right of all students to feel safe, inclusive and free of discrimination in educational institutions statewide.

Nicolaides has assured a follow-up discussion with the school board regarding the incident.

When invited for an interview to address the issue, Monique LaGrange remained unresponsive.