Last month Robert E. Lee Elementary School board in Austin announced that the school would be renamed as was advised by the officials after Charleston church shootings. The school was originally named after a Confederate general and could be renamed after Donald Trump.
Donald Trump is a presidential candidate and the GOP front-runner. He got 45 submissions out of 240 and now can have an elementary school in Austin, Texas, renamed after him.
Other Options for the Austin School Name
Another popular option is keeping the old name, and Robert E. Lee has 34 submissions for him. There have also been submissions for Willie Nelson, Harper Lee and Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bruce Lee and even Adolf Hitler. Surprisingly, the Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance received 8 submissions, which is a lot more than many other options.
Why are there so many submissions for strange candidates? The easiest answer is that the school district made the submissions for the new name open, free, and online. That kind of setup encourages internet trolls and jokesters to flood in joke submissions. They find an idea funny (often something like naming a school after Hitler) and try to push it through with sheer numbers of votes.
This has happened many times before throughout the history of the young internet. A classic example of this happening is Boaty McBoatface, a British research boat that got a similar treatment from the internet, albeit a far less offensive one. Another is in the now-infamous Mountain Dew “Dub the Dew” contest, which caused the possibility of a Mountain Dew flavor called “Hitler did nothing wrong.” If there’s a lesson to take from these contests, it’s that you can’t expect the public to take a poll seriously. If you give the internet the chance, it will make a joke out of anything.