Debate over Sir John A. Macdonald statue an important history lesson, teacher says
Published Thursday, June 25, 2020 6:33PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, June 25, 2020 6:47PM EDT
KITCHENER -- The paint is has been cleaned off the Sir John A. Macdonald statue in Baden, but the conversation continues around the controversial figure.
In the past week, paint was poured over the statue at Castle Kilbride two separate times.
While the vandalism has sparked a debate in the community, Baden resident Jain Redfearn would like to see more education.
"There is no information at the statue itself to invite conversation about the actual histories we're trying to teach our kids," she said. "When we have these open discussions they are promoting education and that is everything."
Redfearn is Métis and a history teacher at Waterloo's Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School. She'd like to see the statue removed, and the name of her school changed.
She said she starts every semester by talking to her students about Macdonald's history, finding out how much they know about Canada's first prime minister.
"Then we have a debate about whether we should keep the name or not keep the name," she said.
In a statement to CTV News, Waterloo Region District School Board Chair Jayne Herring said the board acknowledges the community's concerns about the name.
"The decision to rename one of our schools must not happen in isolation at the board table, it requires listening to our community," the statement said in part.
The school board expects a motion for a name change will be brought forward in the fall.