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New Westminster, B.C., school trustee behind Twitter trolling account resigns

Trustee Dee Beattie has resigned and a byelection will be held to fill her seat, the New Westminster School District says. (City of New Westminster - image credit)
Trustee Dee Beattie has resigned and a byelection will be held to fill her seat, the New Westminster School District says. (City of New Westminster - image credit)

The New Westminster School District says trustee Dee Beattie has resigned from the board following several months on medical leave after she was outed for using a fake Twitter account to troll community members for more than a year.

"She let us know that she has moved out of New Westminster and will be focusing on her retirement and health," said school board chair Maya Russell in an email to CBC News on Wednesday.

The board had its first meeting since June on Tuesday.

Members of the board, along with the district parent advisory council (DPAC), called for Beattie's resignation in June when a New Westminster parent discovered Beattie had been using the Twitter handle Allan Whitterstone to reply with insults to tweets from parents and other community members about education issues.

The same month, the board said Beattie decided to take medical leave and it did not have the ability to remove a trustee under B.C.'s School Act in this case.

The DPAC said in June that Beattie's behaviour was "a pattern of calculated, intentionally hurtful and targeted behaviour."

Apology

Beattie admitted to using a fake online account and apologized in a statement to CBC News.

She said she had been coping with chronic pain and mental health issues that "increasingly became worse."

Russell said the board would advise city council of the vacancy, which would then appoint an elections officer to call a byelection for the empty seat. There are seven board members in New Westminster, whose school district has an enrolment of nearly 7,500 students.

Beattie was elected for a four-year term in November 2022.