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Alberta school trustee claimed 'the Holy Spirit' told her to post Pride flag, Nazis swastika meme

"Do it, go for it," is what a Red Deer school trustee says "the Holy Spirit" told her to do before she posted a meme that likens the LGBTQ2S+ community to Nazi Germany.

That explanation is part of a new 15-page decision released Tuesday by the board of trustees for Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

Monique LaGrange's Aug. 27 post showed a picture of children waving swastika flags above a picture of children waving Pride flags, with the caption "brainwashing is brainwashing."

On Oct. 13, the board concluded that LaGrange violated its policies and ordered her to issue a sincere apology, take sensitivity training and recognize that her post "hurt feelings."

But the trustee insisted "the post is not about the LGBTQ [sic] community" and that the discipline process was "tainted by procedural unfairness and bias," the document states.

"The meme post is about indoctrination through the United Nations which directly correlates to World War II 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 and hijacks the LGBTQ [sic] community's original mandate," it says of LaGrange's argument.

"The Pride flag is used to silence people; children are being kicked out of school and people are being fired which is antithetical to the trustee's religious beliefs; and that 'cancel culture' is not what is good, lawful, appropriate or democratic."


Several people, including some school division employees, complained about LaGrange's posts but those submissions were redacted from the decision document.

The board also received a letter from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre of Holocaust Studies which was "critical of the meme."

Four parents wrote letters to the board in support of LaGrange, who was elected in 2021.

"The trustee was clear that her beliefs informed her views: she stated the Holy Spirit had told her to post the meme and that this was something she should do," the decision says.

But the board disagreed with LaGrange and denied her request to consider whether or not it was in line with Roman Catholic values, instead focusing on board policies and the education act.

Those policies state "schools will foster and maintain a safe, secure, caring, respectful and inclusive learning environment for all students."

They go on to say "the board has a statutory obligation to promote student well-being and a positive and inclusive school climate."

"The meme post is not, on a reasonably objective standard, dignified nor professional, [and the board] does not accept the trustee's submission that the meme was clearly unrelated to Nazism," it states.

"Regardless of the trustee's intent, in the board's view, a reasonable person viewing two photographs (one over the other) could reasonably conclude that a negative comparison was being made."


The decision allows LaGrange to remain on the school board, however, she is not allowed to take part in board committees, attend board committee meetings or represent the board in any official way until she completes sensitivity training.

LaGrange's lawyer James Kitchen said she will not apologize and will seek a judicial review of the decision.

He wanted to clarify that LaGrange wasn't commanded to share the meme but she saw it, prayed about it and was given the go-ahead by "the Holy Spirit."

"She's just a normal Bible-believing Christian, who when she's considering something prays about it, which is what Paul says you should do in the New Testament and then she received the affirmation she was seeking, so she did it," Kitchen told CTV News Edmonton.

"If you don't believe in the Holy Spirit then you're going to find that ridiculous…It just comes down to what you really believe and what your relationship with God is really like."

He said the decision by the school board shows they have a "Liberal worldview" and stated that most Catholic schools are "just public school boards with a cross on them and some prayers before and after school board meetings."

"The truth in the Bible, as offensive as it is to regular people, is that gay sex is a sin, transgenderism is a sin," Kitchen said.

"The apology definitely won't happen. That would violate her conscience. She can't do that. That would be a sin."

Kitchen said LaGrange probably won't take part in the sensitivity training, either, which he referred to as a "re-education, Maoist-struggle-session-type thing where her mind is changed" and her "brain is washed."

He hopes she'll be able to keep serving as a trustee and said seeking an injunction is a possibility if she is disqualified for not apologizing within 90 days.

Board chair Murray Hollman said the board is waiting to see if LaGrange applies for a judicial review before considering its next steps and confirmed that LaGrange has not apologized.

"She does not represent our board's views on these items. This is her own personal view," he said on Tuesday.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Marek Tkach and Brittany Ekelund    Top Stories

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