Students: Change Boulder High name to Barack Obama High

Alan Gathright, Rocky Mountain News, February 11, 2009

A Boulder High student group is pushing to rename the school after a hot new historic figure: Barack Obama.

“We initiate this campaign in order to honor the momentous achievement of his election as an African-American, inspire the community with his ideals of unity and hope, and reflect the progressive spirit that is shared by both Barack Obama and our school environment,” the Student Worker Club said in a press release today.

The group’s president, Ben Raderstorf, stressed in the statement that it scheduled a campus press conference to pitch the Obama High plan on Thursday, “the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth to commemorate both the role he had in making the election of Barack Obama possible and the social progress that has been made since he issued the emancipation proclamation.”

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Principal Bud Jenkins doesn’t anticipate a rush to rename Colorado’s oldest established high school, founded in 1875.

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Ultimately, it would take approval by the Boulder Valley School District Board.

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“With all due respect to the president,” the principal added, “of all the things in the world that need to be changed, Boulder High School’s name is probably way down the list.

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“But we also see that names and symbolism are really a lot more important than just a name,” the club president [Raderstorf] added.

“It really will serve to inspire the community, inspire the students and really make much more of a difference than just putting up a new sign.”

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A longtime social protest group, Student Worker’s members made headlines in September 2007 by protesting the school’s daily ritual of students voluntarily saying the Pledge of Allegiance when it’s broadcast on the intercom.

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 Students by Ethnicity 

 This School 

 Colorado School Average 

% American Indian

1%

1%

% Asian

5%

3%

% Hispanic

15%

29%

% Black

2%

5%

% White

77%

62%

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