Angry calls about tweeting trustee flood Alberta school board

The Battle River School Board has received more than one hundred angry calls about Jim Andre, the trustee who posted racist, sexist and homophobic remarks on his Twitter account.
Trustee prompts complaints to school board 2:24

The Battle River School Board has received more than one hundred angry calls about Jim Andre, the trustee who posted racist, sexist and homophobic remarks on his Twitter account.

The board is awaiting a legal opinion on whether Andre can be forced to resign. However, chairman Kendall Severson says he wants the embattled trustee to face consequences.

Kendall Severson, chairman of the Battle River School Board, has taken calls complaining about Jim Andre from across the country. (CBC)

“It is not acceptable,” Severson said. “ And more and more as time goes on, this is very upsetting to me personally as well as the whole board feels that way.”

Andre has apologized for the tweets but claims he has widespread support from the community.

“I've heard feedback from people that have known me for years.,” he said Thursday. “A lot of support, actually, because they say that 'You know this isn't you.' ”

Andre isn’t planning on resigning on his own,  but says he will step down so if the board tells him he needs to go.

Education Minister Jeff Johnson says he doesn’t have the authority under the School Act to fire only one trustee -- that responsibility lies with the school board.

“In theory, I could step in and fire the board, which is a very drastic step to take, “ Johnson said.

“So we’re going to work with the board and make sure they understand their role and their responsibilities and they’ll be dealing w ith this … my expectation is for this to never happen again.”

In Forestburg, some expressed support for Andre but would not consent to an interview. One woman says she believes that he is the target of a “media frenzy.”

The Battle River School Board holds its next meeting Nov. 14.

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