Canada school trustee says ‘holy spirit’ made her post anti-LGBTQ+ meme
The trustee of a Canadian school board has claimed that she posted a harmful anti-LGBTQ+ meme to social media because the “holy spirit” told her to.
Monique LaGrange, who is a member of the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) board, in Canada, came under fire after posting two photos to social media back in August.
The first photo was a black-and-white image of a group of children in Nazi Germany waving flags with swastikas. The second was of a classroom of children holding up rainbow Pride flags. Accompanying the photos, LaGrange wrote the caption: “Brainwashing is brainwashing.”
Although LaGrange deleted the post shortly afterward, it quickly sparked enormous uproar and calls for her resignation.
The RDCRS launched an investigation into LaGrange’s conduct to determine whether or not she would be allowed to keep her position. In their investigation, which was made public after LaGrange’s lawyer requested to have documents unsealed, the RDCRS heard LaGrange’s defence for posting the meme.
According to a 15-page document, seen by Global News, LaGrange argued that her meme did not make direct comparisons between Nazism and LGBTQ+ Pride. Rather, she claimed that it was more generally about children being indoctrinated.
“The trustee’s position is that no reasonable person would conclude from the meme, that what the Nazis did was acceptable or had anything to do with the LGBTQ (sic) community, and that rather, the meme is about ideas which must always be open to criticism, tested and challenged,” the document read.
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LaGrange explained that she believes discussions on sexual orientation should be between a child, their parents, and God, and that she has a right to express her views.
The document also features several mentions of the holy spirit, in which LaGrange claimed to have confided before posting the anti-LGBTQ+ meme.
“She had asked the holy spirit about it,” the document reads.
“She stated that she was more thinking about the political part of the meme post than anything… The holy spirit said, ‘Do it, go for it.’ So the trustee ‘shared it and that was it’.”
However, the RDCRS board rejected LaGrange’s argument, and ruled that she had been expected to provide a respectful and safe learning environment that “respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging.”
They also found that LaGrange let her personal interests affect the position of “trust and influence [she held] within the education system.”
The document reads: “As a role model within the school system, the trustee is required to represent the board in all board-related matters with proper decorum and respect for others. In having posted the meme, the trustee did not display proper decorum and respect for others.
“Posting a highly controversial meme which does not elaborate or explain the trustee’s rationale and requires schoolchildren and their parents to draw significant inferences if they are to understand the meme as the trustee claims to have intended, does not reflect this standard.”
Concluding their investigation, the RDCRS ruled that LaGrange would be allowed to retain her role, but would face a number of sanctions and would be forced to apologise.
LaGrange’s lawyer James Kitchen has since told Global News that she intends to legally challenge the board’s decision, and won’t be issuing an apology.
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