Change the name of Julie Payette Public School back to Leslie McFarlane Public School

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In light of recent events, those that have signed this petition would like the Durham District School Board to reconsider their policy (where once a school is closed or demolished, its name cannot be put on another new school) and change the name of Julie Payette Public School back to Leslie McFarlane Public School.

The son of a school principal, Charles Leslie McFarlane was raised in the town of Haileybury, Ontario. He became a freelance writer shortly after high school, writing many stories for Canadian and American magazines for over 50 years.

Leslie McFarlane was the original author of the Hardy Boys series (from 1926 to 1943) under the pen name of Franklin W. Dixon. McFarlane was also a reporter, producer for the National Film Board of Canada, and worked as the Chief Editor for the CBC. He wrote and directed numerous films and wrote more than 70 plays.

As a proud Whitby resident from 1936 to 1943 and from 1961 to 1977, he was a member of the Whitby Public School Board and the Whitby Public Library Board.  He also loved to visit his grandchildren's school where he would perform readings of the Hardy Boys. Given his contributions, both as an author and citizen of Whitby, it was fitting that a school was named in his honour—it would have been a great source of pride. 

Given this unique situation, we are asking for the DDSB to reconsider their policy and change the name of Julie Payette Public School to Leslie McFarlane Public School.