York Area District College Board votes to rename Vaughan Secondary College, citing namesake’s racist previous

The York Area District College Board  (YRDSB) has unanimously voted to rename a Vaughan highschool that bears the title of town’s founder attributable to his racist previous.

In an announcement launched on Wednesday the varsity board stated that it’ll transfer to alter the title of Vaughan Secondary College, positioned on Clark Avenue, simply east of Dufferin Road in Thornhill.

“It is necessary that our training system is attentive to the lived experiences of all of our group members, together with college students and households of our Black group,” YRDSB Chair Juanita Nathan stated in an announcement Wednesday. “College students, employees members and households can proceed to really feel pleased with being part of this faculty and a college group that centres fairness and inclusivity and exhibits a dedication to anti-Black racism.”

The transfer follows a renewed debate round whether or not these establishments and areas named after people with racist pasts ought to proceed to bear their names.

A report by staff at the school board notes that Vaughan Secondary College, which opened in 1989 and now serves a various group of round 1,150 college students, is called after the Metropolis Of Vaughan quite than its founder.

Nonetheless, the report states that renaming the varsity could be a method for the board to “show its dedication to racial justice basically and to eliminating anti-Black racism particularly.”

Benjamin Vaughan was a Jamaican-born British parliamentarian who owned slaves and vehemently argued in opposition to ending slavery. In accordance with the report, Vaughan additionally argued that enslavement was “good for Africans.”

Vaughan died in 1835.

The employees report voices concern that Black college students’ “sense of belonging and well-being” will probably be adversely affected by the varsity’s title on an ongoing foundation and says that it’s “unthinkable” that they need to should study in a constructing “that bears the title of somebody who noticed their ancestors as uncivilized beings deserving of being chattel or property to be owned.”

“Addressing anti-Black racism is a precedence for York Area District College Board,” Director of Schooling Louise Sirisko stated in an announcement. “The title of a college needs to be supported by the area people and supply alternatives for college kids, mother and father and group members to be impressed to study.”

A web based petition in June urged the city to change its name. Vaughan Metropolis Council has up to now resisted that decision, opting as a substitute to rename an August civic vacation for former Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe quite than Benjamin Vaughan.

The report estimates the prices related to altering the varsity’s title at about $90,000.

Extra particulars concerning the renaming course of are anticipated to be launched at a later date. For now, the varsity has eliminated “Vaughan” from signage on the entrance of the constructing.