Fate of school trustee to be decided at board’s next meeting
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Thursday, November 7, 2013 6:36PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, November 7, 2013 6:46PM MST
A day after CTV News talked to a Battle River School Board trustee, whose series of racist and homophobic tweets had sparked controversy – the calls for him to resign are growing.
Trustee Jim Andre was recently elected to the position, for the school division in Camrose and the surrounding area, but before he was elected, he tweeted and re-tweeted what some are calling racist and homophobic comments.
The tweets were sent between January and October 2013, before Andre’s election campaign began.
On Wednesday, Andre called his sense of humor ‘off-the-wall’.
“I’m truly sorry for what I did, and I should’ve been more thoughtful in my comments,” he said Wednesday, going on to say he wanted a second chance, and he wasn’t planning to step down.
However, his critics want him gone.
“Stepping down is maybe his only option in terms of showing real leadership in this,” Ian Mathieson with the Centre for Race and Culture said.
The school division said they had received more than a hundred calls or e-mails from people upset by the news – and a number of people turned to the medium Andre’s controversial messages were posted, Twitter, to voice their concerns.
The division’s chair separated the board from Andre’s tweets Wednesday, but wasn’t sure what consequences the trustee would face.
On Thursday, the board said Andre’s fate would be decided at their next meeting, set for November 14.
Education Minister Jeff Johnson said the decision is entirely up to the school board – the School Act states Johnson is only able to remove the entire school board, not a specific individual.
With files from Dan Grummett