Community ignored in new school name

Writer feels the new K-12 school needs a name that reflects Ashcroft's heritage.

Dear Editor

As we approach the end of another school year it’s hard not to already think ahead to September with the upcoming relocation of Ashcroft Elementary as it moves over to Ashcroft Secondary School. Yes, our two schools will become one. A decision I was, as I know a lot of other parents were, not on board with when the announcement was made.

Over time I have accepted and embraced this decision. It’s hard to be unhappy when your 6 year old comes home from school telling you how excited he is about going to a new school with a new, bigger and better classroom in the Fall. The new opportunities for the younger students will be endless in my opinion.

Now this brings me to the renaming of the new school. The school board has chosen Desert Sands Community School.

This was done online through the school district website and social media. Anyone lucky enough to see this was asked to submit a name. The top names were then listed for everyone to vote on.

I have to admit that when I tried thinking of a new school name I had a tough time. I kept going to a significant name in the history of Ashcroft or to someone who made major contributions to the Ashcroft schools. As I thought, I kept going back to something with the name Ashcroft included in it. It only made sense.

In the end I did not make a submission, hoping that there would be some pretty good names to choose from. When I saw the list that we were given by the school board I was very disappointed. Out of the five listed not one had used Ashcroft in the name. I along with many others on social media were not happy. A sixth choice of Ashcroft Community was then added which ended up being the overwhelming winner. The board did state that they would consider one of the top three. So Desert Sands Community School it is.

Over the last two weeks anyone that I have talked to about the name Desert Sands has not associated it with a school but something else instead. With all due respect to the person who submitted this name, I am sorry but personally I don’t see where the name fits in with our community. To me, along with many others a school name should represent the community it is located in. The argument to that seems to be that there are many students of other areas that will be attending the new school. Maybe so but I personally can not come up with another school name in B.C. that has taken that route.

I understand the new name is the future, and having two children that will be attending the school for a long time the future is very important to me. What is also important to me is the history of both schools. Schools I attended from Kindergarten right through to grade 12. A school where I graduated from in a place I am proud to and always call home.

As you read this I am sure many of you are thinking that there are bigger issues in the school district then the naming of a school and you may be right but to me this is important. Having said that I am asking that school board revisit the naming of the school. If it is going to be a community school I think that community members should all be given the opportunity in naming something that is going to be with us for a very long time.

Tyrone Laskey

Ashcroft

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