Austin school's renaming hits a Boaty McBoatface hurdle of its own

Named after Confederate general Robert E Lee, Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler have proven popular figures for the school's new name

Robert E Lee Elementary, Austin, Texas, USA,

Robert E Lee Elementary School in Austin, Texas is undergoing a name change, and learning the hard way not to let the Internet get involved [Fox]

In the wake of Boaty McBoatface, the much publicised and failed attempts by the British Internet-using public to name a multi-million pound research vessel in an online poll, an American elementary school is learning the hard way what happens when you engage the general public. In an attempt to change the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary away from links to the confederate general, the voting public has weighed in, with Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler gaining grassroots support.

Late in March, the Austin School Board decided to make the change after receiving hundreds of complaints from concerned parents and community members about the school’s name being associated with the general who fought to maintain slavery in the American Civil War.

Asking for suggestions from the public, the top two polling names are Donald J. Trump Elementary and Robert E. Lee Elementary, with the Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance coming in at seventh place. Other names to gain support included: Bleeding Heart Liberal Elementary, Boaty McBoatface Elementary School, Hypothetical Perfect Person Memorial Elementary School, Schooly McSchoolerson, and Adam Lanza’s School of Fun – a reference to the man who killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

While the public’s suggestions were solicited by the school board, the final decision rests with the Austin authorities, so it’s far more likely that nominations like Harper Lee Elementary will win out in the end.

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