Naming things is a complusive trait with humans I think. And it should be, otherwise how would we refer to specific facts, items, or people? Many times names appropriately pay tribute to those we wish to emulate. Like naming a new elementary school after Maya Angelou – educator, poet, activist, woman, director, African American.
Public schools have a good record of naming. What an excellent way to bring history into the curriculum of those who learn in the shadow of great people. Even better learning experience if the person so honored is not the favorite of all those who study there. That is, of course, providing the educators look at both sides of the character to expose over-zealous idolatry or bigotry.
Naming of schools is also a window into the minds of school boards or whoever makes the final decisions. Look in your telephone book at the list of elementary schools. One of my nearby cities has a population of Hispanic and black and low income citizens and their elementary schools are named after authors, and local educators. Another city with a record of keeping minorities out of housing named their schools after locations, east, west, or sunset. My own school district named new schools after historic figures and places.
Maybe it doesn’t make any difference. Especially if the curriculum never considers the significance of the name. Students will continue to make names for themselves according to their own experiences. And history proves that innovation and creativity can rise from unexpected sources. Good for our democracy!