Why the Winnipeg School Division is reviewing the names of its schools
The Winnipeg School Division (WSD) is reviewing the names of its schools to ensure that they align with the division’s values.
Jamie Dumont, vice-chair of the WSD board of trustees, introduced a motion to review all the names in the school division to make sure they are named after people who uphold the division’s values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The motion was unanimously approved by trustees at the last board meeting.
Dumont noted this review isn’t about targeting one specific school or school name, but rather taking a look at all of them.
“This review is a complete one,” she said.
“We're going to take a look at all of them. And we're really looking forward to doing this process and to making the changes that need to be made so that our schools can all be safe and welcoming for all of our students.”
She said they aren’t trying to change the past, but rather using current information about the country’s history to make informed decisions.
“I think it’s important as we learn and as we grow, and as we learn from that, we can realize that these are people that maybe we don’t want to honour now,” Dumont said.
Dumont noted the school division’s current process for naming schools is different than it was in the past.
“Right now, our school division does prioritize naming schools based on community feedback,” she said.
Community members are invited to share feedback with the board of trustees. The recommendations will be presented to the WSD’s building and transportation committee for consideration.
Earlier in the year, the division voted to rename Cecil Rhodes School, as Rhodes was a white supremacist whose policies paved the way for apartheid in South Africa.
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