Alberta school trustee sorry for racist, sexist tweets

A newly elected school trustee in rural Alberta is apologizing for sending tweets that were racist, homophobic and sexist.

CAMROSE — A newly elected school trustee in rural Alberta is apologizing for sending tweets that were racist, homophobic and sexist.

James Andre said Wednesday that he never should have sent the remarks and they don’t represent his views. He has since shut down his Twitter account, which used the handle “hotone1963.”

“I’m deeply sorry for what happened,” said the 50-year-old husband and grandfather.

“I don’t want people to get an impression of me, because that’s really not me.”

Andre said most of the comments were jokes he retweeted to his friends and he sent them out before he won his seat on the Battle River School Board on Oct. 21. Based in Camrose, the board is responsible for an area southeast of Edmonton

He retweeted several jokes from The Funny Racist.

Some of the jokes denigrated black people, made reference to Auschwitz and gay sex. One called singer Miley Cyrus a prostitute.

“I found them funny so I just retweeted them,” said Andre. “They’re offensive. There’s no doubt about it and it’s something that I should have thought of before I retweeted them.”

He admits not all of the comments were retweets. Some tweets were his own.

“Watching black people on maury povich … not hard to tell the porch monkey gene still run wild,” he tweeted.

Alberta’s Education Minister Jeff Johnson called the tweets “completely unacceptable.”

He said someone from his department would soon be meeting with the board’s members to discuss proper conduct.

He wouldn’t say whether he thinks Andre should be forced from the job. Johnson said he was leaving that up to the board to decide.

Board chair Kendall Severson said the group is getting legal advice on whether Andre can be removed from his position.

Six of the eight board members are new, including Andre, who is a former maintenance worker with the school division in Killam,.

Severson said the board hasn’t even had its first official meeting yet. More on the tweets may be discussed at a meeting on Nov. 14.

Earlier this year, three Toronto firefighters lost their jobs over comments they made on social media, including sexist posts on Twitter. Kris Wells with the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies sent the province a letter last week saying Andre is not fit for public office, especially in a position responsible for the education of children.

“His pattern of tweets clearly indicate that this is not a simple mistake in judgment or one-time occurrence,” Wells said. Andre said he hopes to meet with Wells and convince him that he is a good guy.

Andre said he decided to run for trustee because others encouraged him to do so and he wanted to give back to the community.

He signed up with Twitter less than a year ago, and said he has learned a valuable lesson.

“The thing that people should realize is that when you tweet something on Twitter, it’s there for the entire world to see.

“And think twice before you tweet anything. You never know who may be reading it and who may find it offensive.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels allowed four straight goals from the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night on the road. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers hand Red Deer Rebels 10th straight loss

Tigers 4 Rebels 2 Through 17 games in the shortened WHL season,… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday, March 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau announces donation to Duke of Edinburgh’s award ahead of funeral

Canada will donate $200,000 to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award as… Continue reading

Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science) Will Amos responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says the fact that a screenshot of him in the nude was leaked to the media sends a troubling message about the corrosive state of politics in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
Canada’s naked MP speaks out: leaked photo sends message ‘anything goes’ in politics

OTTAWA — The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot… Continue reading

Opinion
Opinion: Canada’s self-esteem needs Trump

Well, it was fun while it lasted. For four years, with Donald… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Shenanigans on the links

It must be something about my Scottish heritage but I seem to… Continue reading

Most Read