Media Release

ATA president calls for Red Deer Catholic trustee to resign

Monique LaGrange

ATA President Calls for Red Deer Catholic Trustee to Resign or Face Sanction

ATA president Jason Schilling has released the following statement in response to extended inaction related to a Facebook post from Red Deer Catholic trustee Monique LaGrange.

“Too much time has passed since this hateful post by Trustee LaGrange surfaced, and we still do not have any public statement from the trustee. LaGrange’s inaction leaves us to conclude that the trustee has no understanding of, or remorse for, the harm she has caused.

LaGrange’s Facebook post was vile and repugnant. Not only does it serve to undermine the atrocities of the Nazi regime, but it also acts as a form of oppression to entice further hatred toward members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Monique LaGrange’s Facebook post is hate speech.

Trusteeship, by definition, requires behaviour that engenders trust. LaGrange can no longer be trusted to act in a manner that preserves the safety, well-being and dignity of the students of Red Deer Catholic. She has no choice but to resign. 

Her actions are a clear violation of sections 33 and 34 of the Education Act, which require school boards to ensure that all students and staff are provided a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging. LaGrange’s offensive post is a rejection of this responsibility and an assault on students and teachers and the entire school community.

If Trustee LaGrange does not resign, then the board of Red Deer Catholic must use its powers within the trustee code of conduct policy and section 33 of the Education Act to censure LaGrange and remove her from all board committees and appointments. If the board fails to take appropriate action to address LaGrange’s inappropriate conduct, then the Education Minister should launch a formal review.

Attacks on sexual and gender diverse students and school staff are increasing to exceptional and troubling levels. All of us are obligated to take action and speak out to protect the physical safety and mental well-being of those under threat. 

Swift, decisive and highly visible action to combat this hatred is the only way forward.”

ATA president Jason Schilling

Today’s statement follows up on a statement released last Friday by the Red Deer Catholic Regional Division Local 80 of the Alberta Teachers’ Association.