WRDSB confirms renaming of three schools in region
Three schools in the Waterloo Region District School Board will be changing their names.
The decision was locked in at a Monday night trustees meeting, but faced some hurdles during the vote.
A committee had identified Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School, Ryerson Public School, and recently A.R. Kaufman Public School as high priority when it comes to name changes.
The committee points to John A. Macdonald's and Egerton Ryerson's roles in the creation of Canada's residential school system, and A.R. Kaufman's views on eugenics, as issues warranting name changes.
Trustee Mike Ramsay claims those issues haven't been detailed in a report and feels like the decision is a vanity project.
"Unfortunately, the have-nots are the ones that are getting squeezed in the middle by many of these, what some term to be 'woke' decisions on the board," he said.
Trustee Kathi Smith wanted members of Kaufman's extended family consulted before the vote.
"The least we can do is contact whoever the top level of that family is to find out how they feel about it, which we haven't even talked to them about the fact that we're discussing it," she said.
Trustee Kathleen Woodcock argued the committee consulted who it needed for its research. She said the committee was only tasked with identifying schools with harmful names that could be renamed, and was open about the process.
"It was to come up with a list and that's all in official documents recorded in the terms of reference, and in many of the committee updates that were provided to the board," Woodcock said.
All three schools will be responsible for choosing a new name. It's unclear how soon that will happen.