A new name has been selected for Ryerson Public School in London, Ont., following a review by the Thames Valley District School Board.
During Tuesday evening’s school board meeting, trustees voted to rename it Old North Public School based on the responses to a recent poll.
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Superintendent Lynne Griffith-Jones said “214 parents and guardians and caregivers responded to the poll and the response rate to the poll was 59 per cent.” Old North P. S. was the first choice preference for 77 per cent of respondents and is in reference to the name of the neighbourhood where the school is situated.
The other two names up for consideration were Murray Sinclair Public School, after the First Nations lawyer who served as the chairman of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Phyllis Webstad Public School, in honour of the residential school survivor who created Orange Shirt Day.
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“I also wanted to thank Phyllis Webstad and the honourable Murray Sinclair for allowing their names to stand for the school and to be included in the survey,” said trustee Corinne Rahman.
“My hope is that we will find a way in the future to honour their work and their legacies.”
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Ryerson Public School was named after Egerton Ryerson, who was instrumental in designing Canada’s residential school system.
Calls to change the name of the school, as well as other institutions and areas across Canada named after Ryerson, gained momentum following the discovery of the remains of 215 children in unmarked burial sites in Kamloops B.C.
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.
— with files from Global News’ Scott Monich
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