Obama Elementary School
6/29/2018, 5:49 p.m.
What’s in a name?
A lot, we believe.
And so we were more than pleased when the Richmond School Board voted last week to rename the elementary school on Fendall Avenue in North Side for the nation’s 44th president — Barack Obama.
What a welcome change for the students at the school that originally was named for Confederate J.E.B. Stuart.
Imagine the excitement and pride of the youngsters from kindergarten through fifth grade — 95 percent of whom are African-American — who can tell their family members and friends about attending a Richmond Public School named for the first African-American president in the United States.
How vastly different from the story of the man for whom the school was named when it opened in 1922. Even then, how could anyone be proud of a person who turned against the United States government and fought and killed others to keep people in human bondage?
President Obama is the polar opposite. He won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2009 for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” His years of public service to lift people of all colors in the United States and across the globe will long be remembered.
We will be happy when the J.E.B. Stuart signs come down and the name Obama Elementary School rises on the front of the building. The $26,000 cost to effectuate the change is but a small expense toward helping to free our youngsters — and our city — from the shackles of the past.
We want our children to be motivated, educated and elevated each day when they walk through the doors of their school. The new name — Barack Obama Elementary School — will be a fresh and invigorating start to each new day.
John B. Cary Elementary School should be next.