Trustees should lead by example

Author calls upon trustees to see reason and reverse their decision on school name.

Dear Editor

Today I wish to point out the reasons that the District 74 Trustees need to revisit their decision, renaming the school in Ashcroft.

The opinion poll that they conducted was flawed from the very start with the exclusion of the name which not only has represented our community but the surrounding area for over 150 years and then adding it several days into the actual poll, only to have it receive far and away the  greatest number of votes.

The name eventually selected as the choice to replace Ashcroft Secondary School did not even appear on the ballot and therefore did not receive one vote. The “Community” was added at the June 2 meeting of the Trustees, thus invalidating the entire poll.

Those who voted early in the poll were were deprived of the entire slate of names and might well have chosen differently.

The poll was conducted via the school websites, thus eliminating a large segment of our population.

No public notice was given in our local newspaper, at our post offices, the library, or the Safety Mart, where people often look for public notices.

The name Desert Sands Community School would naturally imply the existence of a Desert Sands community, and to the best of my knowledge, the nearest community bearing the name Desert Sands is in California and that is not even in our country.

Was there a means of insuring that the number of votes cast reflected 334 actual people or could one person vote several times for the same name?

I bear no ill will toward any of the trustees and I respect them for their commitment in serving each of their communities. There has been a wrong and it requires righting. If proper notice is given and the general public is given the opportunity to voice their thoughts, I am absolutely in accord with whatever name the school in Ashcroft is given, but to this point in time that has not happened.

I was assigned the job of teaching leadership while at Ashcroft Secondary School and in honor of those students I had the privilege of instructing and learning from, I must do what I asked them to do and lead by example. An American frontier statesman by the name of Davey Crockett once said; “Be sure you’re right then go ahead”, and I feel so sure that this is a wrong that needs righting, every fibre of my being says you must see that the voice of the people is heard. Six hundred and forty eight people have asked one thing, that the board revisit their decision in the naming of the school and give them an opportunity to be a part of the process.

Mike Baldwin

Ashcroft