School board says no to name change

Gold Trail trustees say no to school name change requests.

Mike Baldwin, retired Ashcroft Secondary School teacher, asked Gold Trail school trustees one last time at their Nov. 3 board meeting to redo the process that let to the school’s new name, Desert Sands Community School, six months ago.

“The board is not going to change the name,” said co-chair Carmen Ranta after answering several questions from Baldwin. This was the third school board meeting he had attended to question the board. “We have tried to be very gracious with you,” she said, “trying to answer your questions. We want to make it clear we will not be revisiting it.”

“Our board is committed to students and learning,” she told him. “Thank you for your passion and dedication but the board will not reconsider this, and we would appreciate it if subject was gently dropped.”

Baldwin thanked Lillooet trustee Jim McArthur for being the only trustee to ask for a postponement of the decision to accept the name at the June board meeting.

Although Baldwin had asked for people to come and show their support, less than half a dozen attended the meeting.

“Please see the folks here tonight,” said Baldwin. “Hear their plea. I will continue to ask questions of the board until I believe I have satisfactory answers for them.”

As the School District was renovating the high school to accept K-12 grades, it asked the community to submit names for a new school and then had a vote for the successful name. The process that it used is being questioned by Baldwin and others. The process was conducted mainly through social media.

After several questions to the board, Baldwin asked the trustees where the next level of responsibility was.

Ranta said it would probably be local MLA Jackie Tegart although, she pointed out, he had already sent her and the Education Minister a copy of the 648-signature petition and had not received a response.

“We would like to resolve this matter locally but we will go higher,” promised Baldwin.