New Hampshire 4th Graders, and the White House, Have the Last Laugh

Written by SK Ashby

Several months ago we discussed the story of a class of 4th graders in New Hampshire who were invited to the state capitol to participate in the lawmaking process.

The 4th graders sought to designate the red-tailed hawk as the official state raptor, but their proposal was rejected by the legislature after Republican lawmakers compared the red-tailed hawk to Planned Parenthood and abortion.

That same class of 4th graders from the Lincoln Akerman School in Hampton Falls was selected by the White House this week to name the red-tailed hawk that has taken up residence on the White House grounds.

The 4th grade class chose the name Lincoln and the Planned Parenthood Raptor now has it's own Twitter feed.

After a spirited debate and multiple rounds of voting, the students of Jim Cutting’s fourth-grade class decided on a name befitting a White House raptor:

Meet @LincolnTheHawk

The students’ reasoning? Well, a political moniker seemed apt, given this young bird’s proclivity for the East Wing. And the name recognizes the visionary leadership of our 16th President and the proximity of the Lincoln Memorial to the White House—all with the added bonus of sneaking in a plug for their school (Lincoln Akerman School in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire).

This isn't a coincidence and it's great.

Earlier this year, a fourth-grade class in New Hampshire researched and wrote a bill to make the red-tailed hawk the state’s official raptor, taking their civics curriculum to a new level.

The Lincoln Akerman School students — who created “Live Free and Fly” t-shirts for the occasion — made national news in their effort to move this legislation. While New Hampshire is still without an official raptor, the students learned a more important lesson — one that goes beyond how a bill becomes a law.

Sure, the children learned that you should try again if at first you don't succeed, but they also learned that Republicans are terrible.