Fairbanks elementary school name voted out

Badger Road Elementary School (Photo by Badger Road Elementary School Parent Teacher Association)

Badger Road Elementary School (Photo by Badger Road Elementary School Parent Teacher Association)

The Badger Road Elementary school in North Pole will transition to a new name this summer.

The Fairbanks North Star School District board voted Tuesday to rename the school Midnight Sun Elementary, but as KUAC’s Robert Hannon reports, the board nearly backed away from changing the Badger name, which links the school to a man convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl.

The school is located off Badger Road, which was named for Harry Badger, a prominent strawberry farmer in the early 1900s.

In 1916 Badger was convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl, a crime largely forgotten when he died in 1965 at the age of 96.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the school board in November decided to rename the school.

The board considered two other names: Ursa Major Elementary School and Tr’enyaxde (tren-YAHK-tuh) Elementary School. Tr’enyaxde is a Minto Athabaskan word for “where we are growing.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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