Nova Scotia school could be renamed after slain Mountie instead of Prince Andrew
A high school in Nova Scotia may soon go from bearing the name of a disgraced royal to being named after a local and national hero.
Prince Andrew High School, located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, was named after Queen Elizabeth's newborn third child in 1960 when it first opened. But a growing movement is calling for it to be renamed after RCMP Constable Heidi Stevenson, the police officer killed in Canada's deadliest mass shooting earlier this month.
A petition to change the school's name has already garnered more than 40,000 signatures to date.
Change Prince Andrew High School to Constable Heidi Stevenson High. It’s certainly most fitting – Why should the school keep the name of a disgraced royal instead of a local hero? - #HeidiStevenson Sign the Petition! https://t.co/UQbPPPqqPj via @CdnChange— Michael Bechard (@MichaelBechard1) April 28, 2020
"We are asking the Halifax Regional School Board and the Nova Scotia Department of Education to consider changing the name of the Dartmouth high school Prince Andrew High School to Constable Heidi Stevenson High," the petition reads.
"Cst. Stevenson paid the ultimate price protecting our community from a murderer who could have easily taken more lives and destroyed more families. She lost her life serving the community she loved. We should honour her and her memory by having her name forever in our community."
The school board had already begun looking into changing the name of the high school following an accusation that Prince Andrew had sex with a 17-year-old while she was held captive as a "sex slave" by late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew was forced to step down from public duties in November following this accusation.
"We've had some inquiries with the appropriateness of the name, so I think it's my responsibility to go to the community and say, 'Does this name continue to reflect the community?'" Brad McGowan, principal of the school, said back in December.
Now, community members argue this is the perfect opportunity to remove Prince Andrew from the school's identity once and for all and replace him with someone who deserves it.
Remember the chatter about renaming Prince Andrew High?— John Grant (@hfxjohn) April 26, 2020
Here’s an idea....
Let’s rename Prince Andrew High School after Heidi Stevenson.
"With the school board already reconsidering the name of Prince Andrew High School, this would be the opportune time to name one of our community schools after a real hero," the petition notes.
In an email to CTV News, a spokesman for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education said a process was initiated in February to change the school's name, but no conclusion was reached and the process is now on hold due to COVID-19.
"There will be an opportunity when this is over to pause and reflect on how to best remember those lost to this senseless tragedy," he said.
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