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Another walk out planned, more calls to change name of new Kingsville high school

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The backlash has been loud to the name given to a soon-to-be-opened school in Kingsville, and it could be in line for a renaming before the doors even open.

"It needs to be revisited, it needs to be done correctly," said Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) Trustee Cathy Cooke.

Outrage was sparked when the board voted 6-2 in favour of naming the new school ‘Erie Migration Academy,’ a name that wasn’t on any of the lists compiled by the naming committee, after months of work.

“I was going to make a motion to revisit this and I saw that Trustee Qin is going to and I'm going to support that motion, I think it was very unfair. I think it was disrespectful," said Cooke.

She was on vacation and missed the meeting last Tuesday that saw her colleague Julia Burgess move the motion to name the school — bus said she has returned to an inbox of complaints.

Essex MPP Anthony Leardi wrote to the board this week, saying the chosen name was not consistent with the board's criteria and “means nothing to no one.”

Burgress responded with a letter in kind, for Leardi to retract his letter. Arguing it was disrespectful to Indigenous communities who identify with the word Erie.

Julia Burgess response to Anthony Leardi by CTV News on Scribd

Before trustees reconsider anything, students are planning to walk out, again.

“I definitely didn't expect this to be this big when we started out with it. With like the first walkout I just thought it was going to be a school thing," said Kingsville District High School student Emmerson Jadischke

“Yeah, I'm really happy with the amount of publicity this issues getting because it's really bring it to the board's knowledge," added Kinsey Kendrick.

Emmerson and Kinsey will be among the first cohort of students to graduate from the new school set to open in September.

They planned last week's walkout and are planning another for March 1, supported by the town’s mayor.

“These kids, man, they got courage. They’re standing up for what they believe in and we have to support them,” said Dennis Rogers.

Burgess, who represents the Kingsville and Essex areas, says there are those who support the name, they’re just not as vocal as those who oppose it.

The next board of trustees meeting is set for March 19.

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