What a wonderful way for students entering Grade 8 this September, to start their tour of secondary school duty unencumbered by the moniker of Prince Charles Secondary School (PCSS). I was so happy to read in the June 24th edition of the Creston Valley Advance that School District 8 voted to change the name of the local secondary school.
I attended PCSS for five years and graduated in 1986. It always perplexed me as to why our school would be named after Charles, Prince of Wales. Did he attend the school? Did he finance its construction? Did he even know that the school existed? In fact, I was embarrassed to have our school named after this person. To a teenager in the 80s, it didn’t make sense and didn’t foster pride. How much more so to a teenager in the 2020s?
There is no harm done in changing the name. But there is continued harm if it doesn’t change. Whether one agrees or not, for many people, the British monarchy represents a philosophy of colonialism from a time in the past that we are hopefully moving away from in favour of inclusiveness and social justice. Let’s name our public buildings in a way that represents everyone in our community. By doing so, we announce a progressive, holistic, and healthy attitude that connects us with what is fundamental to being human: kindness, respect, and acceptance.
We’re all in this together!
Trevor Josephson, Langley