The protest concerning the naming of the Ashcroft K‑12 school Desert Sands Community School is entirely justified. Obviously the selection committee wasn’t able to think “outside the box”. For example, how does “Desert Sands” reflect the outlying communities of the district? As a description I can think of several communities, including the closest, Cache Creek, that can hardly call it an area of “desert sand”.
I think, as a result of a petition of 650 persons protesting the name, a revisit can hardly be considered “undemocratic”. On the contrary, it reveals a willingness to compromise and reconsider the naming. It is scarcely a reflection that the selection committee made a mistake.
Criticism that the naming wasn’t sufficiently publicized seems equally justified. I read my Journal faithfully every week, and whatever information that was in it about the naming was not sufficient enough to penetrate. I still consider myself a reasonably intelligent reader.
To continue to hang on for dear life to a name that so many people don’t like is inexplicable. In a civil society, which so many of us believe we have, reconsideration of a decision is considered the hallmark of success. The name has not been written in stone; at least, not yet.
Why not name a school after a person? Many schools are named after prominent people, such as Captain James Cook in Vancouver. That school could have been named “Snowy Mountains” or “Ocean Tide” or—well, you get the point. But no: it was named after Cook. Isn’t it time we paid a little homage to those who have contributed so much in years past to our communities? I can think of several retired educators who deserve a school named after them.
Let “Desert Sands” be drained out of our thinking apparatus, and replaced after some serious consideration.
Esther Darlington MacDonald,