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Red Deer school board member under fire for social media post


A Red Deer Catholic school board trustee is facing backlash and being asked to resign after a social media post that compared the LGBTQ2S+ community to Nazi Germany.

The post shows a picture of children waving the Nazi flag above a picture of children waving pride flags, with the caption "brainwashing is brainwashing."

Monique LaGrange, a board member of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, posted the image on her Instagram page.

The post was later removed, but not before it grabbed the attention of Red Deer's LGBTQ2S+ community.

In a letter sent to the Red Deer Catholic's board chair, the Central Alberta Pride Society wrote, "We would like a formal apology by her to the students, teachers and parents of the Red Deer Catholic School Division, as well as the LGBTQ2S+ community.

"Along with this, we are also requesting that Ms. Monique LaGrange either step down from her position as a board member or be removed immediately."

A social media post from Monique LaGrange show children waving a Nazi flag being compared to children waving Pride flags. (Source: Instagram)

"We've been compared to just about everything at this point, so why not people who've hunted us and murdered us historically," said Alex Pugatschew of the Red Deer Queer Community Association.

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights and social advocacy organization, issued a statement on Wednesday.

"Comparing the LGBTQ+ community to the Nazi regime, especially considering the Nazis' persecution of the minority group, is abhorrent and a form of Holocaust distortion," it said on Twitter. "We stand with #Alberta's LGBTQ+ community in denouncing this offensive post shared by @rdcrs trustee Monique LaGrange, and have offered our educational programs to the school board."

Pugatschew said LaGrange should be required to take diversity and inclusivity training.

"I highly doubt that's going to happen because we've already seen the response from the Catholic school [board] and it was, "Oh no, bad girl."

The school board did not specify if LaGrange would resign, but said the board of trustees will conduct a review of its code of conduct.

Kristopher Wells said that's not enough, and LaGrange should not remain in her position.

"I was horrified and very disappointed to see someone espousing hate," said Wells, the Canada Research Chair for the Public Understanding of Sexual & Gender Minority Youth.

"I believe that the minister of education should intercede and force this trustee out of office," he said.

The education minister, Demetrios Nicolaides, has been made aware of the situation.

In a statement to CTV News, he said he was disappointed and condemned the post.

"No one should have to live in fear of violence, discrimination or exclusion. All students deserve to feel safe and welcome in schools across the province."

Nicolaides said he will follow up with the school board to discuss the matter further.

Monique LaGrange did not respond to a request for an interview. Top Stories

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