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School Division looks into social media post insulting Justin Trudeau
Prairie Rose School Division says it’s investigating an incident where a teacher posted a photo to Facebook insulting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The photo was taken after an “I Love to Read Month” event at the kindergarten to grade 12 school in Miami, Man.
Conservative MP Candice Bergen was at the event, and the school’s physical education teacher Brent Unrau tells CTV News he asked for the photo as she was on her way out while Unrau was in between classes. In it, the two hold signs that together read: “Trudeau is just the worst.”
Speaking with CTV News by phone, Unrau said in hindsight he should not have posted the photo and that he removed it from social media after about three hours. He went on to say that he doesn’t consider himself political and that he was not trying to push a political agenda on any students.
Bergen also posted the photo to her Instagram account with the caption:
Constituent: “If I make a sign that says how I feel about Justin Trudeau, would you hold one of them with me and share it?”
Me: “Of course, a lot of people feel the same way you do Brent!”
When asked about the decision to take the photo in a school full of students, a representative for Bergen’s office wrote:
“As a Member of Parliament, MP Bergen is often asked to reflect her constituents' views including their increasing frustration with Justin Trudeau’s record as prime minister. Ms. Bergen's commentary that accompanied the attached Instagram post speaks for itself. She has nothing further to add."
The Instagram post has since been deleted.
A Miami resident echoed some of Bergen’s sentiments. Tina Waldner’s children all go to Miami School, and while she said the post surprised her, she told CTV News she also found it humourous.
“I kind of chuckled at first. I mean a lot of us maybe carry the same opinion. It was just pretty bold,” said Waldner.
Waldner also said it was important to remember that in a social media age many people tend to post in the moment.
“We ought to give grace on that,” said Waldner.
“And we have to realize that everybody kind of has different opinions and that’s ok.”
Kerri Wiebe attended Miami School growing up and reached out to the school division after seeing the post, saying a teacher should be non-partisan and should not endorse any political candidate on school grounds. Wiebe also took her concerns to Twitter regarding Bergen taking the photo after a school event.
“As an MP she should be setting an example for children, and doing this childish name calling in a school -- she should have known better,” said Wiebe.
Miami School is part of the Prairie Rose School Division. In a statement to CTV News, the division’s superintendent wrote:
“The division has recently become aware of an employee who engaged in political activity social media posting with MP Candice Bergen while she was visiting one of our schools for I Love To Read Month. This interaction occurred after the planned events and was an unscheduled meeting/interaction. The posting does not reflect the views of the division and the division does not condone this type of political partisanship.
The division is investigating this incident.”