Tags: Barack Obama | Obama | school | Maryland | DC

Md. School's Obama Name Propels Spirited Debate

Wednesday, 25 Aug 2010 11:00 AM

The locals aren’t exactly welcoming the naming of the first D.C.-area school after Barack Obama, if a TV station’s informal Web poll is to be believed. Barack Obama Elementary, touted as a “green” school, opened Monday in Upper Marlboro, Md., according to NBC affiliate WRC-TV, which lets viewers and readers react to many of its postings.

Those who took the time to register their opinions on the station's website seemed to be green, all right, with envy or, perhaps, just historical effrontery.

Nearly 70 percent clicked the “furious” button, while 8 percent weighed in at “thrilled.” Although the Prince George’s County school district is serious about the name, 14 percent of those reacting to the story registered it as a laugher.

Of course, the story also generated a lively debate on the website’s comment section, ranging from insults (mostly anonymous) to praise. Among the more reasonable, from both ends of the spectrum:
  • “What has this man done that deserves a school named after him?”
  • “He is a great President!”

Although schools have been named after Obama in several states across the country — and one in St. Paul, Minn., is named the Barack and Michelle Obama Service Learning Elementary — this is the first in the White House’s backyard. Other states with schools touting the president’s name include California, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

And schools with the Obama name aren’t confined to the United States. Kenya, the birthplace of Obama’s father, has Senator Obama Primary School and Senator Obama Secondary School.

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