School board turns to students for direction on crosswalk project

By on March 19, 2018
Merritt Secondary School. (Herald file photo).

 

School board trustees haven’t given up on the idea to paint a message of inclusion somewhere in the City of Merritt, but will wait for further direction from students at Merritt Secondary School before making their next move.

The school board’s meeting on March 14 was the most recent board meeting since city council opted to reject the proposal to paint a pride-inspired crosswalk at an intersection near the high school. Though school board chair Gordon Comeau called the city’s decision “disappointing,” he spoke out against the idea of resubmitting the proposal to council during the meeting on March 14.

“We respect their decision at this point and they can choose to revisit it as they see fit,” said Steve McNiven, superintendent for School District 58.

The idea of painting a crosswalk with the pride-inspired rainbow colours was initially submitted to the school board by a group of students from the MSS Aboriginal Voice group and the school’s pride club. The groups have fundraised in order to help offset the cost of painting and maintaining such a crosswalk, noted trustees at the board meeting.

A number of alternate options were presented at the meeting on March 14, including the idea of painting the entranceway to MSS with pride colours. Two Vancouver-based lawyers who own a parking lot in Merritt offered the space to the students to paint a pride-inspired design and pledged to kick in some funds for the supplies.

But the board will wait until the students themselves have a chance to mull their options and decide where to invest their funds and energy, trustees decided at Wednesday’s meeting.

“I’m very pleased to see the board continue to support the students and their want to have a symbol of inclusion and diversity in our community,” said McNiven. “We will take the students lead on what and how they want to see that done.”

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