School Aims for Image Change With Obama Name

Board considers name change Wednesday

It's been said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. But it seems Oakland's Alternative Learning Community is hoping that cliche doesn't ring true.

Toni McElroy, the school's new principal, sent a petition to the school board requesting consideration for a name change to help bring it positive focus.

They want to be known as Barack Obama Academy.

OAL is the place "at-risk" students choose to go when the regular public school system just doesn't seem to work for them. The FAQ section of the school's Web site explains, "Many of our students have poor grades or attendance and many have been suspended."

Council President Pro Tem Larry Reid sent a letter to the council in support of the idea. So did the president of the Toler Height Citizen Council.

"This name change will embrace and promote a positive view for our community and strengthen the opinion that this is indeed a wonderful neighborhood to live in," Fred Franklin wrote.

The idea is getting mixed reactions from blog readers.

The school board will consider the issue at Wednesday's meeting.

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