School Counsellor Suspended for Christian Stand on Homosexuality in Letter to Editor

QUENSEL, BC, April 5, 2005 ( - In a decision handed down yesterday, Quesnel School District Superintendent Ed Napier suspended school counsellor Dr. Chris Kempling for three months. Dr. Kempling has been employed as a counsellor since 1990, and has been active in a wide variety of volunteer positions in the community. He is also the local spokesperson of the federal Christian Heritage Party, and had written a letter to the editor of the local newspaper on behalf of his party, criticizing the Liberal government’s same sex marriage legislation. The school district did not provide a single example of disruption to the school system, or any negative effect of the letter. They also ignored over a dozen letters of reference from supervisors and community members written in support of Dr. Kempling.

“It is truly unfortunate that the Quesnel School Board believes that only those who support same sex marriage are able to comment publicly on a matter of national importance,” stated Dr. Kempling. “It is a sad day for freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and freedom of political affiliation. But more significantly, I am most concerned about the young children with serious emotional needs, who will be deprived of their counsellor at a time when they need help most. Counselling, much more than teaching, involves a close personal relationship where trust develops over time. I’m really very worried about their well-being.”

Dr. Kempling plans to fight the suspension through the grievance process, as well as through the BC Human Rights Tribunal under the category of political discrimination.

The suspension will cost over $25,000 in lost wages and income, not including the legal costs of fighting the decision at the Human Rights Tribunal. People who wish to make a donation to the Christian Public School Teacher’s Legal Defense Fund may do so in these ways:
  1) Any branch of the Royal Bank, Transit #4720, Account # 101-030-1
  2) Via mail to Jim Sagert, Trustee, 798 Beaubien Avenue, Quesnel, BC V2J 1S5 (a letter of acknowledgement will be sent)

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