Librarian drops out as NDP candidate after online tiff with 'cocky' student

The NDP has lost its candidate for the electoral district of Bedford amid allegations Dan Trivett cyberbullied a student.

Dan Trivett is a high school librarian who levelled scorn on social media toward a student

Dan Trivett has withdrawn as the NDP's provincial candidate in the district of Bedford. (Submitted by Dan Trivett)

The Nova Scotia NDP has lost its candidate for Bedford over allegations he cyberbullied a high school student.

The party confirmed Friday that Dan Trivett has withdrawn his candidacy for whenever a provincial election is called.

"We wish Dan well in his future endeavours," Mike Poworoznyk, the party's provincial secretary and CAO, said in an email.

CBC learned the student in question is Adrian White, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student at Halifax West High School. Trivett is a librarian at the school.

Problems stem from contract dispute

During the recent contract dispute between the province and Nova Scotia Teachers Union, White led a lobby group billed as speaking for students' interests. At first it was called Students 4 Students, but he and other members switched it to Students 4 Change.

White is also a member of the Liberal Party, works part time for his MLA in Hammonds Plains, Ben Jessome, and is the stepson of Premier Stephen McNeil's former chief of staff, Kirby McVicar.

Trivett sent out two messages on social media early in the new year that were not complimentary toward him, said White.

Then in February, Trivett sent out the following tweet: "He is a student where I work and is being rude and cocky like his [stepdad], Kirby McVicar."

A screen grab of a tweet by former NDP provincial candidate and high school librarian Dan Trivett. (Adrian White)

White said he's the only person Trivett could be referring to because he's McVicar's only stepson.

"I feel like it's really, really unprofessional and ridiculous that a [school board] staff member is allowed to get away with this," he said.

When CBC News requested an interview with Trivett, he said the tweet in question was deleted and he wouldn't comment further.

Any discipline a private matter

In an email, the school's principal, Tim Simony, said he was aware of the situation.

"We always follow up by treating complaints seriously and taking steps to ensure student safety is preserved."

Simony said personnel matters are confidential and handled by the school board. He referred other questions to the Halifax Regional School Board.

No one from the board would comment, citing privacy rules.

'I'm a pretty big loudmouth'

White said he's met with administration from the school and representatives of the board, but he doesn't feel like anything has been done. The board's privacy policy means it is not possible for White or anyone else to actually know if Trivett has been disciplined.

"Frankly, it makes me feel pretty disgusted," said White. "Every time I have to show up at school, I have to deal with that. It's no more library for myself, I can't go in there."

White said he'd like an apology from Trivett.

"I'm a pretty big loudmouth; I like to speak about partisan politics and I'm very, very involved in it," said White.

"But, at this point, I just felt it was inappropriate of him to conduct himself in this way on social media."

About the Author

Carsten Knox

Associate Producer

Carsten Knox is a writer, editor and broadcaster who helps produce CBC Nova Scotia's current affairs radio shows, including Information Morning and Mainstreet.