BC school board trustee stepping away after Facebook post comparing masks to slavery

May 8 2021, 2:55 pm

A British Columbian school board trustee is temporarily stepping away from his duties after sharing an image on social media that compared COVID-19 masking to slavery.

On May 7, Dr. Stan Petersen, chair of the Abbotsford School Board, said the trustee would be stepping away to take training that would “build a better understanding of these issues.”

The trustee has also agreed to apologize and delete the post, and will refrain from using social media.

Although Petersen did not name the trustee in question, screenshots of an April 29 post on Phil Anderson’s Facebook page show a photo of a blue surgical mask flying from a flag pole, with “the flag of slavery” emblazoned above.

The post was shared on April 29, but Peterson said the board only became aware of it on the evening of May 6.

“We emphatically state that this is not reflective of our Board’s position,” Petersen wrote. “The Abbotsford Board of Education is fundamentally committed to providing a safe, equitable and inclusive environment for all our students, staff and families.

“The Board is strongly committed to anti-racism, and opposes hate in any form. In addition, we remain committed to fully implementing the provincial public health and safety procedures.”

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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