A St. Boniface school trustee has been suspended for three months without pay, owing to recent sensationalistic and anti-LGBTTQ+ activity on her personal social media page.

During a board meeting on Tuesday evening, the Louis Riel School Division’s elected officials voted unanimously to suspend Ward 1 representative Francine Champagne.

The motion states the rookie trustee is being disciplined for breaching an internal code of conduct regarding Policy AC (respect for human diversity) and the use of social media.

Division documents indicate all individuals who access its facilities are expected to contribute to inclusive environments and demonstrate respect for human rights.

Trustees are required to “refrain from expressing opinions and/or sharing information through social media that would discredit, undermine or compromise the integrity of the board.”

In recent weeks, Champagne has taken to Facebook to share conspiracy theories and mock the transgender community.

The trustee, who was elected in October, published an image with text that reads: “To identify as = To live a lie.”

“A male who insinuates himself into female spaces… is one thing and one thing only — A PREDATOR,” states another recent post she shared on Facebook.

Champagne, whose suspension is effective immediately, was not in attendance at the hybrid meeting on June 6.

At the outset of the public event, chairwoman Sandy Nemeth spoke at length about board discussions, which she categorized as “respectful,” that led to the motion to discipline her colleague.

“After the suspension period, the board will engage in professional learning with the purpose of remediation and renewing our commitment to promoting respect regarding human sexual diversity,” Nemeth said, reading aloud the latter half of the suspension motion.

The board spokeswoman indicated the united vote reaffirms LRSD’s ongoing dedication to “safe and caring schools.”

Champagne did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Dakota Collegiate’s gay-straight alliance marched in the Pride parade over the weekend.

Nemeth was among other LRSD representatives who attended the event in solidarity with LGBTTQ+ students, staff and community members.

By Maggie Macintosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 07, 2023 at 22:35

This item reprinted with permission from   Free Press   Winnipeg, Manitoba
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