Winnipeg School Division takes step forward in changing controversial school name

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg School Division (WSD) took a step forward on Monday in the process of changing a controversial elementary school name.

The school division passed a motion to get the ball rolling on renaming Cecil Rhodes School.

Rhodes, known for establishing the Rhodes Scholarship, was also a white supremacist and settler colonialist, according to the motion. Rhodes is also considered an architect of South Africa’s apartheid system.

Jennifer Chen, the school board trustee who submitted this motion, said honouring Rhodes sends the wrong message to students and families.

“The feedback from the community that I received, from parents, from students, is that it’s time for the school board to look at this issue,” she said.

“It is time to change the name of Cecil Rhodes School.”

The administration will now take the next step in the name-change process and begin to consult with the community on new name ideas. The results of this consultation will then be presented to the board of trustees by March 31, 2021.

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