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Kingsville school name changed to Erie Migration District School

Kingsville's new K-12 school is set to open in September. (GECDSB - image credit)
Kingsville's new K-12 school is set to open in September. (GECDSB - image credit)

Kingsville's new K-12 school will now be known as Erie Migration District School after a short but heated special meeting of the Greater Essex County District School Board Tuesday night.

The special meeting was brief, as trustees closed debate by calling a vote on the motion almost immediately.

The lone item the agenda was a recommendation to replace the word "academy" in the previously chosen name with "district school."

The decision was made in a seven-to-four vote and the meeting adjourned by the board within 10 minutes.

"We have had this previous name vetted and unfortunately missed a vulgar acronym," said Trustee Julia Burgess, who made the motion to amend the name and also chaired the naming committee for the school, having chosen the previous "Erie Migration Academy" name.

"It's had a lot of discussion in the public sphere and we don't want our students, staff or community to be involved in the bullying that's associated with a vulgar acronym."

Because Burgess made the motion, she was the first to speak to it. Immediately after doing so, Burgess called for the vote on the motion — closing discussion before other trustees could speak to the name.

Calling the question required a two-thirds vote of trustees and passed.

The vote on the name motion also passed by a margin of seven to four.

Immediately after that vote, trustees took a vote on a motion to adjourn and ended the meeting.

Board chair Gale Hatfield was present via telephone, but did not chair the meeting — instead, Trustee Christie Nelson acted as chair.

The board also brought in a "parliamentarian" to advise and weigh in on the procedures of the meeting.

Parent says new name has crude acronym

Prior to the meeting, students told CBC News they were disappointed with the proposed new name.

"I think we would both prefer Kingsville in the name just because it's the location," said Kinsey Kendrick, one of the students who lead a walkout over the name. "If they included a word that implies an area beyond Kingsville as said before, like Kingsville District School or Greater Kingsville District School …just to include everyone."

Another parent says the name once again has a crude acronym associated with it.

"The acronym would be EMDS, so another one of the 'eat my' anatomy kind of acronyms," said Corrine Ross.

"I don't think it's a good change … When they wouldn't allow any input in their last meeting in March, they wouldn't allow the reconsideration of the name, but now they've reconsidered it and made a new decision."

The name Erie Migration Academy prompted student walkouts and online petitions.

The regional K-12 school is set to open its doors in September to about 1,700 students.