(Writer: Felix Ferlicchia, Editor: Wudi Fan)
When I learned that Canadian parents and teachers support the idea of removing the name Sir John A. Macdonald from Canadian public schools, my reaction was, “The Sir John A. Macdonald debate is going to go viral.”
One of the biggest reason for advocating the removal of this school’s name is that people disapprove the ways indigenous people were treated back in the says when Macdonald was our prime minister. My answer to this argument is: that was the past. Canada has become one of the most diverse countries in the world, and our politics has started to integrate and respect indigenous people more and more thanks to our generations of great prime ministers. Even though racism still exists in our community, our education system teaches our younger generation the right approach to regarding such issues and brings them on the right track.
Moreover, my school does not treat the indigenous population miserably, and no school does so simply because of its name. In fact, we regard the indigenous population with high respect and we are probably one of the most culturally diverse schools. My school has a great ESL program and one of the few Autism programs in the school board, both of which I am attending/ have attended. MAC is treating me and everyone else equally and fairly, and it truly stands for diversity, equality, and support.
As I have stated in my previous article, if the school boards decide to remove the name from public schools, it’s going to ruin the schools financially and morally. The school will suffer financially because it would have to change many parts of the buildings, e.g. decoration, badge, the design of the gyms, and etc. The renovation at this level will cost a lot of money, and it might lead to sports teams getting canceled and teachers getting unemployed to save money. Another problem is that we invest a lot of money for school wear (because of our loyal school spirit) and even sports apparels. The school is not responsible for refunding money for school wear or providing new clothes for free because they also have to pay the companies that produced the school wear. Parents would not be happy because their money was wasted for this reason, and the students would not be happy because the school spirit would be destroyed and sports teams would be dismissed.
Over time, the schools whose names were forced to change will attain a terrible reputation due to the reasons lists in this essay. Fewer students would want to attend the school, and parents would relocate their kids to another school. In conclusion, there is literally no positive outcome from changing the school’s name.