February 5th, 2009
02:05 PM ET
9 years ago

NY school officially named after President

Students line up at the official ceremony to unveil the Barack Obama Elementary School sign.

Students line up at the official ceremony to unveil the Barack Obama Elementary School sign.

(CNN) - Students at former Ludlum Elementary School made history when their school became the first in the nation to be renamed after President Barack Obama. It’s virtually unheard of to name an educational institution after a sitting president. Students and parents gathered for the official name change ceremony Wednesday morning where the “Barack Obama Elementary School” sign was unveiled.

During the campaign season, the children became interested in the election, participating in mock presidential debates at the Long Island elementary school - which sits in close proximity to Hofstra University, the site of the final presidential debate.

They began the movement to officially change their school’s name to honor the 44th president. Following the election, the Hempstead School Board voted unanimously to adopt the resolution after students read their written requests to make the name change permanent.

After the inauguration, all 466 students received navy sweatshirts from the school with the words “Yes We Can” emblazoned in English and Spanish. The school is roughly 60 percent Hispanic and 40 percent African-American.

President Obama was invited to the ceremony, but was unable to attend.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. Mike, Syracuse NY

    What happens when he falls on his face?

    February 5, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Joe in NJ

    When I was in elementary school we students voted to change the name from P.S. 121 to the Alice Cooper Elementary School. The teachers refused our request.

    February 5, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. beetle


    February 5, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. jo jo

    I THINK IT'S GREAT. What better honor than to have something dedicated to you while you are alive. Why wait to he's dead to honor him? Afterall, we all know he is going down in history, if for nothing else, as the first black President. So give him his props NOW, I say. For you so called God fearing, church goers, haven't you heard the song called, "GIVE ME MY FLOWERS WHILE I YET LIVE SO THAT I CAN SEE THE BEAUTY THAT THEY BRING"!

    February 5, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. ANGIE

    to all you haters. you are just mad because they have not named a school after that dumb bell bush. the only thing he deserves to have his name on is a prison cell and a number across his back. President Obama is not asking for these things to be done.
    Plus he has tried to do more in the 2 weeks he has been in office then bumb bell did in 8 years that he lived in the White House.

    February 5, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Hope

    Mickey – you said "Barak down to 65% today in the latest poll and dropping."

    So is your percentage in getting into heaven

    February 5, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. Glennis

    In English and Spanish? Are we no longer teaching English in schools to people coming into the country? (I'd say immigrants, but I figure half of 'em are probably illegals.) Why not print them in Swahili and Hindi too? Or maybe Farsi? Give me a break!

    February 5, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. a REAL American

    To House Diva–

    It's so great that you "gave" us all those famous individuals, as if it was some great sacrifice made for the good of humanity. I guess we should be grateful for the improvement it has made in our lives.

    By the way, you can have Michael Jackson back!

    February 5, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Ken in NC

    The students of The Barack Obama School will now grow up knowing that at a young age, they took part in a process that involved the entire nation. This will give them a pride that others can only dream of doing. Congratulations to them all.

    February 5, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Rachel

    Pretty soon, they're going to name a church after Obama. 53 million people will be bowing at the Altar of Obama.

    February 5, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Matt

    OK to all the people saying it is OK to do this since they have done the same for Reagan or Kennedy need to understand one thing. They are dead. These were for the most part honors given to them after they have died. Only the changing of Dulles Airport happened while Reagan was alive but his was in his "slow goodnight" at that point in his life.

    Naming this after Obama is insane at this time. If he fails it will be like Enron Park and you will not be able to change the name fast enough. This has nothing to do with Barack or hating on Barack. That is not the point.

    It is the deification of him by others. the clut of personality that surrounds him. That is why doing this is wrong. Hitler did the same things.

    February 5, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. Matt

    It's ok right wingers, don't be bitter....I'm sure George W. Bush Middle School is next. 🙂

    February 5, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Cacafuego

    Our ancestors (or at least mine) fought a couple of wars back in 1776 & 1812 so that our sitting government couldn't do anything like build statues to themselves, put their likenesses on stamps & money, and name everything after themselves, WHILE THEY WERE IN OFFICE. Afterwards, fine. The only countries where this happens are those with monarchies and dictators. Cults of personality are dangerous things–just as Argentina, Russia & most of Africa.

    February 5, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. BM

    Since we never got repiration for our forefathers as slaves, to name a school after the first African American is a small price to pay all you bigots!

    February 5, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Why not? He may be the only Democrat in the country who has paid his taxes.

    February 5, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. Retired Army in San Antonio

    Marc PDX -- February 5th, 2009 4:12 pm ET

    LOL – he hasn't done anything yet (ever!)… what if he turns out to be another goofball like Jimmy Carter? Just rename the school?


    Of course they'll rename it if he turns out to be another Carter.

    Name it after another goofball, perhaps. Maybe rename it: Marc PDX 😉

    February 5, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Remedios, MD

    That is truly amazing. I believe that anything and everything that "inspires" a child academically is a VERY GOOD THING.

    February 5, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. Steve (the real one)

    House diva,

    You can't be serious. Bill Cosby caught hell when he told black families to straigthen up. Remember?????

    February 5, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. Mississippi Mike

    "There are republicans on the hill that really would like to see Obama fall flat on his face."

    I think every Republican wants to see our economy turn around, personal freedom enhanced and international crises avoided. Those aren't the things Obama is going after. He is focusing on his socialist domestic policies and nothing else. If Obama's plans are implemented, the country will be in serious trouble. Socialism doesn't work, Republicans want to see his attempts at instituting socialist policies fail. That's the failure we want to see.

    February 5, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. rea


    February 5, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Paula

    Look at the people in the picture of this school, they appear to be of hispanic orgin which means they may be Illegals and not even know what the rules of this country and they could be trying to Kiss-up so President Obama could make them legal.

    February 5, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Retired Army in San Antonio

    Matthew Detroit - February 5th, 2009 3:06 pm ET



    What's the matter?

    You mad, Brah 😦 ?

    February 5, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. James II

    Hey Rufus,
    Are you pals with Barak? Can you get me into a pickup game at the whitehouse. I have some serious game.

    February 5, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. Lunez32

    Conservative are jealous, so I'm happy.

    Let's name more schools after Obama. Sounds like music to my ears.
    Listen to the crybaby republicans, mad because they only thing we WANT to name after Bush, is a roll of toilet paper. Go Obama 2012!

    February 5, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Cacafuego

    FYI: It's "tradition" to name public-funded buildings,etc. (schools, air ports, freeways) after Presidents after their term of office is over, but they can still be alive. However, it is forbidden to include them on official coins, money & postage while still alive.

    February 5, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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