School to be renamed

Benjamin Vaughan

The Vaughan Secondary school in the Greater Toronto Area is to be renamed.

The York Region District School Board trustees have voted unanimously to rename the school after consultations with the public.

In an announcement last week, Board officials said the word “Vaughan” was removed from the school’s name, leaving it unnamed for now.

According to a report presented to trustees by director of education, Louise Sirisko, the school which was officially opened in 1989,was named after the City of Vaughan which derives its name from the British parliamentarian, Benjamin Vaughan.

The report noted that  Vaughan who was bon in Jamaica of British and

Charline Grant

Anglo-American  parents, owned enslaved Africans in Jamaica and  vehemently argued in the British parliament against ending the system of slavery and against the emancipation of enslaved Africans.

It said that Vaughan believed that enslavement was good for Africans.

“There is no question that the Black students living in the City of Vaughan and attending Vaughan Secondary School are or will become aware of the true history of Benjamin Vaughan, and this history will affect their sense of belonging and well-being,” the report pointed out.

” The renaming of the school is a way for the board to demonstrate its commitment to racial justice in general and to eliminating anti-Black racism in particular,” it said.

Jamaica–born Charline Grant, a parent who lives in Vaughan and is a member of the steering committee of Parents of Black Children,  told The Caribbean Camera that she  and others were pushing over the summer to have the name change before the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year..

“We are happy that the Board finally made the decision to rename the school,” she said.

But, as she pointed out, ” our fight is not yet over.

“We also calling for a name change for the city of Vaughan.”

Grant said she and others will continue their campaign to have the city renamed..

“We know that’s going to be a huge fight but we are ready for  it,” she added.