Parents criticize potential renaming of Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School
Parents with children in Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School criticized an impending merger with another school during a meeting on Tuesday night.
In January, the Quebec government announced that in September the high school will join with Riverdale, while the latter’s building will be handed over to the Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board to ease overcrowding in the French school system.
During the meeting at PCHS, parents said they were upset at the lack of consultation about Riverdale being closed, and with the idea that PCHS would be renamed as part of the merger.
“We want to work with Riverdale, we want to show them that we’re a welcoming school, that we want to welcome them into our family, welcome their traditions and all of their history,” said parent Susan Brown. “We want them to bring all of that with them into our school.”
PCHS governing board chair Juan Lamosa said there is room for compromise without changing the name of the school
“There’s talk about the fact Riverdale has a gym named after a teacher, I believe it's Dave Reed, that means a lot to their community,” he said. “There’s already been a proposal that we rename our gym Dave Reed in honour of that teacher that is part of the history of Riverdale.”
Lamosa said other changes could be made at PCHS to make students from Riverdale feel welcomed in the fall.
"As you see there's a lot of murals around here. There are some walls here that need to be upgraded in terms of paint. Well, bring Riverdale students here so that they can incorporate their murals," said Lamos
An online petition opposing the rebranding of PCHS has garnered almost 2,500 signatures.
“LBPSB's request is to erase the history and success rate of Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School as a solution to deal with the demise of Riverdale High School,” said the petition’s creators in a statement posted on the website.
A final decision on what will happen with the school is expected in May.