Posts Tagged ‘Barack H. Obama Elementary School’


Boys entrance at the Barack H. Obama Elementary School.  Paul Goldfinger photo. December, 2014. ©

Girls entrance at the Barack H. Obama Elementary School. It’s a place “where superheros are made.” *  Paul Goldfinger photo. December, 2014. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

As I drove past the Barack H. Obama Elementary School, I noticed the separate entrances. I don’t know if they actually segregated the kids according to gender at the school on Bangs Avenue in Asbury Park, but this facility, which looks fairly new,  is actually about 100 years old. It used to be the Bangs Avenue school and it clearly has had a lovely facelift, but they left those gender-based entrances.

I wonder if the school board kept those separate entrances as a quaint historical tip-of-the hat to the old Asbury Park when boys and girls entered via their own gender door.  I can recall my elementary school in Newark where I did enter through the  boys-only doors.  It seemed natural at the time, and I don’t recall having any interest, academic or otherwise, in the girls door.

But don’t those separate entrances bother anybody in this mostly African-American neighborhood, even if they don’t use the doors to separate boys and girls?  Well maybe it’s just a subtle reminder of how things used to be—-in more ways than one.

I can recall when they named the school  after President Obama in 2010 before he actually had time to prove himself.   I thought, “Why are they naming this school for him when he hasn’t yet accomplished anything?”   However,  I quickly realized that the lofty “hope and change” dreams that the President spoke about were being incorporated into the mission and spirit of that school.

In 2011, the building was closed as an elementary school due to declining enrollment and  a disagreement with the State, but it is functioning again now as an adjunct location for special high school and middle school programs.

However, it will reopen in September for the 2014-2015 school year, once again as an elementary school for neighborhood kids who can walk there.   (The story about the closing and opening is recounted in the article linked below)

Go to the school’s website*  to hear some wonderful custom-made reggae music that expresses the hopes of those who attend that facility.

BHO Elementary School link  *

AP Sun link   about the school’s reopening.

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