Bennett issues response to Kelly Road name change proposal

School District 57 board chair Tim Bennett issued this media release late Wednesday afternoon in response to the public reaction to the proposal to change the name of the new high school to replace Kelly Road Secondary.

Here are his comments, in their entirety:

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We acknowledge that there is passion and school spirit for Kelly Road and the Hart community that was exhibited today, which will probably continue for some time as we move through this process.

We need to be clear that the motion carried at the February 25, 2020 Regular Public Board Meeting was to "engage in the process" of a new name, and the Board of Education is committed to doing so before the school opening in September 2020.

Given our enthusiasm for the new direction, we acknowledge that we failed to fully engage the community connected to Kelly Road school.

In the weeks ahead, we will be outlining a series of opportunities for community engagement regarding this project. They will provide a forum for purposeful dialogue to move forward.

I want to be clear, however, that although we understand the emotional connection our parents, students, alumni and community members have for Kelly Road, offensive and disrespectful language will not be tolerated at our schools or on SD57 online platforms. Comments made at home, at school and online can have a deep impact on our students’ well-being.

As always, our number one priority is the safety and well-being of all of our students. We recognize students at Kelly Road may require additional supports at this time. We have mobilized an Inclusive Education Support Team to be available for those who need it.

An email address has been set up to receive direct feedback that will be considered as part of the engagement process going forward. Please send emails to:

 

kellyroadfeedback@sd57.bc.ca

 

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