Oakland has become one of the first school districts in the country to name a school after President Barack Obama.
Students from the school formerly known as the Alternative Learning Community applauded and hugged each other tonight after the board voted unanimously to allow the alternative middle school to rename itself “Barack Obama Academy.”
The students were candid about the school’s challenges (and in some cases, their own struggles) since it opened in 2007. But they said it had improved under its new principal, Toni McElroy, who started last semester.
“We are some very intelligent students, and our president is too,” one student told the board. “We have worked very hard to change our behavior and attitude. … We will work very hard to show good behavior on Barack Obama’s behalf.”
Another student said he hated telling people where he went to school, because of the “alternative” in its name.
Before the vote, board member David Kakishiba leaned back and asked them, “This is your idea right?”
“Yeah,” they said, in unison.
“Well, you’re about to win.”