School learns nothing from Boaty McBoatface-gate

1st May 2016 at 09:01
Robert E. Lee Boaty McBoat Face Name Change Vote School
Voters love Adolf Hitler and WWE wrestling. And Prince.

An Austin elementary school is in the news for a proposed name change. The push for a makeover at Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Hyde Park came soon after shootings in a North Carolina church last year. Hundreds of parents voiced opposition to the school's namesake. 

Even in the south, the Confederate general's popularity is waning. This popular outcry against an icon of the past mirrors ongoing debate on the use of the Confederate flag. Another Southern school, University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), had a similar public vote to change their Colonel Reb mascot to something more contemporary.

Progress usually involves conflict. However, the school isn't in the news over protests or heated debate.

It's in the news because people LOVE the name "Boaty McBoatface" and its naming legacy (it received at least 1 vote in the school name poll). And like that ill-fated exercise in democracy, this school vote is marked by the public's creativity.

Other nominations for the new school name include:

  • Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance
  • John Cena Elementary School (yes, the wrestler turned Hollywood actor)
  • Idiocaracy Elementary (misspelled)
  • Ayn Rand Elementary 
  • Generic School Name
  • Politically Correct Elementary School #1
  • The Illuminati

And perhaps in a nod to the passing of Prince:

  • The School Formerly Known As Robert E. Lee (2 votes)

According to local news station KXAN, school name changes usually gather 100-150 votes in the district. Maybe due to the age of the internet and viral publicity, this school received over 400 votes.

Submissions are now closed and the Board of Trustees will vote on May 23.

You can get a complete list of nominations here.

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