What's in a name? Plenty, say 'Crownsville' opponents

February 28, 1997|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County blue bloods can relax. But others may do the opposite.

Students at the new high school for disruptive teen-agers are asking that their school be named Crownsville High School.

That will pacify long-established area families who took offense last month when school officials agreed on Arundel Academy as a temporary name, said Del. Robert C. Baldwin. The West County Republican is from a family that helped found the Anne Arundel Academy, a once-tony, now-folded semiprivate high school in Millersville.

The alternative school became nameless again within days.

But Gerald Stansbury, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, is bristling at the suggestion of using Crownsville in the name of a school for troubled children. It invites the automatic association many people make between Crownsville and people who are mentally ill, and harks to an era when mental hospitals were segregated, he said.

The school -- the last chance for a public education for some youths -- opened last month in the Winterode Building on the grounds of Crownsville Hospital Center.

Baldwin called the name "a beauty."

"I can go for that," he said. "It is a geographical location, and it is well identified."

Geography is not the issue to Stansbury.

"I personally feel that Crownsville is not an appropriate name for the school," he said. "I think it paints a stigma on the school by being so close to the hospital."

He will suggest naming the school for William Bishop, a wealthy black Annapolis physician in the 1870s who, with his wife, helped many young people get ahead.

"His main focus was on hope and achievement -- the general focus we want to bring to the school," Stansbury said.

Superintendent Carol S. Parham is recommending that the school board accept the Crownsville name. The school board is scheduled to vote on the name at its meeting Wednesday.

Pub Date: 2/28/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.