A Red Deer Catholic school board trustee who was in hot water over a social media post comparing the LGBTQ community to Nazi Germany has been booted from her role.
In a Tuesday news release, the board said it decided to disqualify Monique LaGrange because she violated the sanctions it issued on Sept. 26, along with board policy and the Education Act, and that LaGrange subsequently resigned.
It comes after LaGrange made a social media post depicting photos of children waving Pride flags and children waving Nazi swastika flags with the caption “brainwashing is brainwashing.”
Following a code of conduct complaint, the board gave LaGrange 90 days to make an apology and take sensitivity training on topics related to the Holocaust, 2SLGBTQ+ issues, the use of social media, and human rights. It also prohibited LaGrange from representing the board in an official capacity, including by speaking with media outlets.
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On Tuesday, the board did not provide specifics about which sanctions were violated but said it will release a report detailing the rationale behind the decision on or before Nov. 24.
In a statement, board chairman Murray Hollman called it a “challenging decision.”
“I affirm our unwavering dedication to fostering a safe, secure, caring, respectful and inclusive learning environment for our students, staff and community members,” said Hollman.
LaGrange’s lawyer James Kitchen has previously said LaGrange could not issue an apology in good conscience. He told Postmedia Wednesday that LaGrange did not willingly resign, but the Education Act required it following the disqualification.
“She got kicked off of the board, the board was the ones who decided.”
Kitchen said a second code of conduct complaint was made against her for participating in media interviews, and they will still be pursuing a judicial review. He called the board’s decision “more cancel culture,” an abuse of power by the majority of the board, and censorship.
“You’ve got a board of secular liberal people who have a particular worldview, and they really don’t like people who express ideas contrary to that worldview,” he said.
A meeting summary released by the board in October stated that LaGrange said she posted the meme because she thought it “reflected the truth about today,” and the “Holy Spirit said to the trustee, go for it.”
LaGrange argued that the meme was not about the LGBTQ community, but, according to the summary, was “about indoctrination through the United Nations which directly correlates to the Second World War and Nazism. It is about the agenda of the United Nations and Planned Parenthood which is an attempt to sabotage our youths’ identities and destinies.”
LaGrange is a distant relative, through marriage, of Alberta Health Minister Adriana LaGrange, who has disavowed the social media post that sparked criticism.
The Central Alberta Pride Society has called for Monique LaGrange’s resignation, and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced her post. The Alberta Teachers’ Association also called for her to step down, describing her social media post as “vile and repugnant” hate speech, and the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association announced Sept. 7 it had stripped LaGrange from her position as director.