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Ahead of upcoming school board meeting, NWP again calling for byelection

School trustee Dee Beattie has not resigned after confessing to the use of a social media burner account to harass members of the New West community

Kathleen Carlsen, fourth from the left, has been named the NWP’s school board candidate in the event a byelection takes place. Supplied.

The New West Progressives (NWP) are again calling for a byelection for school board after New West school trustee Dee Beattie confirmed to The Anchor she was behind a burner X/Twitter account that was harassing members of the New West community. The call is also coming a little more than a week before the first school meeting of the 2023-24 school year.

Over the weekend, the NWP announced it had formally chosen Kathleen Carlsen as its candidate for school board in the event an election takes place.

“Kathleen is an amazing individual who is clearly committed to improving and strengthening our school system. I had the privilege of running with her in the 2022 civic election and I can personally attest to how hard-working she is and what a wonderful school trustee she will be,” NWP president Karima Budhwani wrote in a statement sent to The Anchor on Sunday afternoon.

The party claims Beattie—who went on medical leave after confessing to being “Allan Whitterstone” on X, formerly known as Twitter—has moved out of the city and “is no longer a permanent full-time resident of New Westminster.”

Left: Dee Beattie, a school board trustee in New West, is on a leave of absence after confessing to be @alfromnw on Twitter. Right: a screenshot of the now-deleted @alfromnw Twitter account.

“If this is accurate, this is even more reason for her to do the right thing and to hand in her resignation at the earliest opportunity,” the party says.

In June, a local parent said she was able to deduce that Beattie was harassing her after piecing together a number of electronic breadcrumbs. Beattie, who ran under the Community First banner and was endorsed by groups like the New West and District Labour Council and the BC Building Trades, is currently in her second term on the school board.

She initially denied involvement to The Anchor through a statement provided on behalf of her then party, Community First. When Beattie confessed, she left the party.

“I admit to my role in using an online fake account and I sincerely apologize to all of those who were hurt by my actions,” she then told The Anchor in a statement.

The school board has asked Beattie to resign. A school board trustee cannot be removed unless specific events take place. Beattie’s actions do not appear to meet that threshold.

The next school board meeting is set to take place on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

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