Friday, March 14, 2008

Brooklyn School Name Change Causing Trouble: Drummer Boy Vs. Old-Time Educator

There's trouble in Kensington: an elementary school wants to change its name from the "Doris L. Cohen School" to the "Clarence D. McKenzie School."

In case you don't know who either of these people are: According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Doris. L. Cohen, in the 70s and 80s, was a big-time volunteer in the school, working on the PTA, the School Board, committees, etc.

Clarence D. McKensie, on the other hand, was the little drummer boy who was the first Brooklynite to die in the Civil War. There's a memorial to him at Green-Wood Cemetery.

What's the problem? The relatives of Doris Cohen still live in Brooklyn, and they're pretty steamed.

Which raises an issue: How long should an honorary naming last, and whose responsibility is it to keep someone's name alive?

More here.

Illustration: An unattributed period drawing of Clarence D. McKenzie, Civil War drummer boy


Anonymous said...

Sounds like the person for whom the school was named is a role model for students, parents,teachers, administrators, and the community. Principals & teachers should have references to educate about the name-sake.
The drummer-boy sounds like an inspiring lesson-plan, but do we change the name of a school whenever we find someone of interest in the cirriculum?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment above. The only reason PS 230 wants to change the schools name is because the president of Greenwoods cemetery is a big part of the schools PTA.This will look good for both parties in the eyes of the media.
That is the problem these days too many people want to change history!!