Texan Input On Renaming 'Robert E. Lee' School Goes About As Well As You'd Expect
Revisionism: You're Doing it Wrong
So the Austin Independent School Board decided, after getting feedback from parents and the community at large, to change the name of "Robert E. Lee Elementary School," because as you may have noticed, not everybody in the world thinks the Confederate general is a hero, and maybe it would be nice to reflect the opinions of people other than the nice white folks of 1939 Austin who originally named the school. The decision to rename the school provoked the predictable hissy fit from defenders of the Lost Cause, as well as from former students who said they felt an intense bond with their beloved childhood school, and wouldn't it be a travesty to bury the school's history with a new name? (As someone who loved his fifth-grade English and Social Studies teacher, your Dok Zoom couldn't give a rat's ass about what the school was named, but will always remember Mrs. Whatsername. Besides, they tore down the asbestos-laden old pile and built a Safeway there.)
In an attempt to get "community buy-in" on the name change, the school district gave locals the opportunity to nominate new names. And then the Internet happened to it. The list of top nominations was released Friday:
Wouldn't you know it, some people had to go and take the process seriously! Guy Bizzell was a beloved debate teacher and 1957 National Teacher of the Year; Russell Lee was a famous-ish photographer from Austin; Elisabet Ney was a 19th-century sculptor who put Texas on the Art Map; and Dr. Frances J. Nesmith was another much-loved Austin teacher. So there, we did some homework instead of just joking about the stupid internet suggestions: VALUE ADDED. We're actually sort of cool with the "Harper Lee" and "Russell Lee" attempts at compromise, which strike us as goodhearted and not trollish ways of keeping the place named "Lee Elementary."
The Austin ISD board asked for recommendations, but made it clear from the start they would have the final say on the new name, regardless of popularity. You can see the full list of nominations here; other entries included the in-your-face "Appomattox Elementary," "Ulysses S. Grant Elementary," and "William T. Sherman Elementary." Other protest nominations included "Politically Correct School #1," "Generic Elementary," "Lavrentiy Beria People's Academy" -- you have to at least admire their commitment to the joke -- and the downright chilling "James Earl Ray Elementary." Haw Haw Haw and also go fuck yourself.
Ultimately, for the sake of timeliness, we have to second the opinion of Major Major Major Major from the Wonkette Sekrit ChatCave: "My wife says Prince Rogers Nelson Funk Academy." Hell yeah.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.