Here’s something that will now be obvious going forward for government officials that probably should have been already: Don’t ask the public for ideas on naming anything. As we saw recently when 124,000 people voted to name a British research boat Boaty McBoatface, a fine, respectable name, which was nonetheless shot down, and soon thereafter when Boston transit police denied the will of the people to christen their new dog Mr. Spaghetti, there is no naming nomination process safe from the whims of trolls.
It’s a lesson an elementary school in Austin, Texas is now learning themselves. The school, now known as Robert E. Lee Elementary, voted to change their name last month, like many institutions around the country currently dealing with the fact that they’re named after Confederate leaders.
The most popular name offered up for nomination to the school board is a contemporarily divisive character in the form of Donald Trump, with 45 nominations. Others are more reasonable, like Harper Lee, or educators like Dr. Frances J. Nesmith and Guy Bizzell. But things quickly fly off the rails further down the ballot. Garnering 8 nominations was Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance, which I’m assuming isn’t going to be approved. It gets even worse from there, via KXAN:
Adam Lanza’s School of Fun, Bee Movie, Bleeding Heart Liberal Elementary, Boaty McBoatface Elementary School, Forgetting the Past Dooms You to Repeat It Elementary, Garfunkel, Hypothetical Perfect Person Memorial Elementary School, John Cena Elementary and Schooly McSchoolerson.
It could be worse. Back in 2012 Mountain Dew held a contest to name a new flavor. The top vote getter: “Hitler did nothing wrong.”