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A committee will form to review school names after WRDSB passes a motion

That will use an anti-racist lens
Waterloo Region District School Board
KitchenerToday file photo

The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) held a Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, October 19. 

Part of the conversation was on forming a committee that would review school names and board facilities using an anti-racist lens.

The motion to form the committee was brought forward by School Trustee Kathleen Woodcock. 

During the meeting, Woodcock mentioned that it is time for this committee to get formed.

"This motion includes an acknowledgment that racism and racial harassment exist within the WRDSB, this motion is another step for having the necessary and meaningful dialog about racism and systemic discrimination that may exist relative to the school naming process." 

After trustees made their comments, Woodcock had some closing remarks, adding the committee will not be able to do the review on their own and will need help from outside sources. 

"We have to have community input and engagement, and that's what we're trying to achieve on reviewing the policy, and have the committee be the ones to develop the scope for the review, how they're going to do it, and help us get through this new way of looking at things, we need to look at it through an anti-racist lens."

The motion did pass, however, there was some opposition. 

Student Trustee Tristan John-Jandles voted against the motion because we cannot change history or historical figures but, everyone can learn from their controversial mistakes. 

"Does changing a controversial name or making the actions behind that name any less controversial? No, for me, at least keeping some of these controversial names serves as a reminder of how much society can positively change for the future."

The Committee of the Whole also approved School Trustee Scott Piatkowski's motion to review the school resource officer program, which is currently on hold and aimed to represent positive relationships between students and police. 


Tim Herd

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