Naming process not sufficiently advertised

A reader writes that the process used to name the new Ashcroft school wasn't advertised well enough.

Dear Editor,

Having read the lengthy letter from the Co-Chairs of SD 74 very carefully (“New name reflects input”, July 23), I think I can see where the problem about the naming of our new school is coming from. It was natural that the people consulted would be those involved directly in the education of the District’s children. That is only reasonable.

What was missing was the involvement of the community as a whole. “Individuals were invited to submit names” to a website. There are still many people in our community who would not know what a website was, let alone how to use a computer to get into one.

“At an open forum where any individual could speak”—which I assume meant the general public—“the Board heard from a member of the public that their preference was that the Board select a name.” The emphasis here was a member of the public. A member is one. Was that member appointed by a group to deliver the consensus of the group?

The essential fact remains that a school is one of the most important buildings in a community. So much goes on in a school, besides classrooms, teachers, and students. As the Board and everyone else knows, the activities in a school involve any number of groups and individuals who do not relate directly to education. Suffice to note that the major funding for the schools in the District comes from the taxpayers, ergo the community as a whole.

Being a person involved with the media for more than half my life, I would think the issue was not sufficiently advertised to the general public, so that maximum participation in the naming process was assured. Naming a school is on par with getting a referendum passed. You can’t get a referendum passed with one segment of the community involved. You have to involve all of the community.

The charge of oligarchy vs democracy (“Is it democracy?”, July 23) is the natural outcome from the above omission.

Esther Darlington MacDonald,

Ashcroft