Thursday, May 12, 2011

No New Name for "Witchcraft Heights"

It would seem that Salem, Massachusetts' Witchcraft Heights Elementary School won't be getting a new name. As I mentioned back in March, School Committee member James Fleming had proposed renaming the school after former City Councilor Leonard O'Leary who passed away in 2007.

The Witchcraft Heights Elementary School will keep its name after School Committee member James Fleming withdrew his proposal to rename the school after former City Councilor Leonard O'Leary.

Instead, the ball fields at the school will be named in O'Leary's honor and a photo of O'Leary, who represented Ward 4 for 25 years until his death in 2007, will be placed in the school's lobby.

The School Committee unanimously approved Fleming's revised proposal at its meeting on Monday night.

Fleming had originally requested renaming the school building after O'Leary, a champion of public education, because it is located in O'Leary's ward.

Fleming also said the name "Witchcraft" might be misconstrued.

As I also pointed out in my March article, Fleming is apparently an idiot because it sounds like he believed that unless the name was changed people were going to think the school was Harry Potter's Hogwarts or something.

Nobody else bought that ridiculous notion and Fleming's motion met with serious opposition from parents and staff, leading him to withdraw it. I mean, come on - the school doesn't even have a Quidditch team, at least not yet.

"I felt it would be a fracturous vote," Fleming said on Monday.

The School Committee policy subcommittee has decided to take no action on the school district's policy for naming or renaming schools.

That policy states that naming a school after a person should not happen until 10 years after the person has died so that their contribution to the community will have "stood the test of time."

About the only advantage I can think of that renaming the school might have is that it might lead to a little less of this. Perhaps attending a school called "Witchcraft Heights" provides some encouragement for kids to wear lots of black, overuse eyeliner, and support "warlock-craft" that's copied from Hollywood movies and popular songs rather than any legitimate magical tradition. But then again, this is Salem, where the battle against fake witches was probably lost years ago.

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