Kitchener-Waterloo

YMCA to review school board decision to rename school named for A.R. Kaufman

The YMCA of Three Rivers, which operates the A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA facility in Kitchener, says it's reviewing a public school board decision to rename a school with Kaufman's moniker.

Group will 'will explore the opportunity to participate with the school board in their process'

The YMCA of Three Rivers operates the A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA facility in Kitchener. The organization says it's aware the Waterloo Region District School Board has voted to change the name of an elementary school named for Kaufman. (Google StreetView)

The YMCA of Three Rivers says it will review a decision by the Waterloo Region District School Board to rename the A.R. Kaufman Public School given that one of its own facilities is also named after the eugenics advocate and industrialist. 

The YMCA operates the A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA facility in Kitchener.

"Together with our board of directors we ... will explore the opportunity to participate with the school board in their process," YMCA spokesperson Victoria Ford said in an email to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo.

Public school board trustees voted in favour of changing the name of three schools on Monday night. 

The public school named for Kaufman was identified as "high priority for renaming."

Kaufman was a Kitchener industrialist and philanthropist, but he was also an advocate for eugenics — the discredited belief that it's possible to improve the human race through selective breeding, based on traits such as race — and in particular, Kaufman believed in the use of sterilization as a eugenics measure.

The other two schools that will be renamed were Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School in Waterloo and Ryerson Public School in Cambridge.

Trustee Kathleen Woodcock said renaming committees for all three schools will begin their work soon and that community members will be consulted in each case.

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