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Red Deer school board trustee won't apologize for posting 'brainwashing' meme: Lawyer

Red Deer school trustee Monique LaGrange and an anti-LGBTQ2S+ post she made on social media. (LaGrange photo source: Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools) Red Deer school trustee Monique LaGrange and an anti-LGBTQ2S+ post she made on social media. (LaGrange photo source: Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)

The lawyer for a Red Deer School Board member says she won't be saying sorry after posting a meme comparing teaching children about the LGBTQ2S+ community to brainwashing in Nazi Germany.

Monique LaGrange, a trustee with the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS), was recently found to have violated the board's Trustee Code of Conduct when she posted the meme back in August. 

The Alberta Teachers' Association and LGBTQ2S+ community members and allies called for her removal over the post, but LaGrange was allowed to remain in her role under several conditions.

Those included completing sensitivity training about the Holocaust and LGBTQ2S+ discrimination, as well as issuing a public letter of apology.

Her lawyer said Saturday she will not be apologizing and will seek a judicial review of the RDCRS board's Sept. 24 decision.

"She didn't do anything wrong. If she apologized, it would be dishonest," James Kitchen said. "And she has too much integrity to do that."

Kitchen said his client has been clear with the board in refusing the condition and does not think she did anything wrong in sharing the meme.

"They're setting her up for failure," he added. "They're imposing a condition on her that they already know – or ought to know – that she cannot meet."

LaGrange is also "undecided" on whether she will attend the mandated sensitivity training, Kitchen said.

"The issue with that is, you know, what's the point?" he said, explaining that LaGrange won't apologize regardless of any training. "Obviously to go through some sort of reeducation like that is going to be very unpleasant, so why bother?"

Kitchen said the judicial review will argue that the board's decision was unlawful, unreasonable and should be overturned.

The reasons behind RDCRS's decision have not yet been released. Once they are, Kitchen said he will begin working on the review and expects to file around November.

Any additional sanctions arising before then, relating to LaGrange's refusal to attend sensitivity training or issue an apology, will be included in the review, he said.

LaGrange remains in her role on the RDCRS 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.  

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nav Sangha Top Stories

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