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Former trustee takes Red Deer school board to court over disqualification

A dismissed Red Deer school board trustee wants to be reinstated, and she’s going to court to try and make it happen.

Monique LaGrange is appealing her dismissal from the Red Deer Catholic Regional School (RDCRS) board over code-of-conduct violations stemming from an August social media post.

“We have to take it to the judge and say, ‘Look, I want you to review this decision and tell me if it’s lawful or not. I think it’s unlawful, I want you to agree with me,'” LaGrange’s lawyer James Kitchen said.

In September, LaGrange was found to have violated the board’s Trustee Code of Conduct and the Education Act when she posted a meme on social media comparing children waving Pride flags to children waving Nazi flags.

LaGrange remained a trustee until November, when she resigned after being disqualified for refusing to comply with mandatory sanctions including issuing an apology and taking sensitivity training.

At the second hearing, the board found LaGrange had further violated the Trustee Code of Conduct.

In the detailed reasons for disqualification, the board said LaGrange had “continued with a course of conduct that is disparaging of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.”

The board cited additional social media posts commenting on the LGBTQ2S+ community and a public interview where LaGrange discussed board business as a trustee.

Kitchen argues that LaGrange did not actually break any rules, calling the case a “woke versus free speech kind of scenario.”

“We are challenging all these findings that she spoke when she shouldn’t have or talked to people she shouldn’t have, or that she’s somehow done certain things wrong by posting the memes that she posted,” he said. “We just said, ‘Well, look, you might think what she’s done is wrong, but the code of conduct doesn’t actually prohibit the conduct you’re talking about.'”

Kitchen said it may take until 2025 to get a decision.

If the Court of Queen’s Bench decides to overturn the RDCRS board’s decision, he will ask the judge to order LaGrange’s reinstatement as a trustee. 

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