Tuesday, July 10, 2007

One 'Hell' of a name

I've never known anyone with Hell for a last name, but looked in my local phone book and there are a couple of columns of Hells listed! Kids are "cursed" with weird first names their parents give them like "Butterfly" or "Moon Unit" etc., but imagine being stuck going through childhood with a weird last name. My maiden name was Pressley. Though it is spelled with two s's, I was repeatedly asked by teachers, kids, and other people, "are you any relation to Elvis?" I would say no, and they would still keep it up. "Sing us a song, Elvis"! If I said "yes, Elvis is my uncle" they would respond with "Liar, you wouldn't be living where you do if you are related to someone like Elvis." But at least my name didn't cause me to be banned from places like this poor little fella. How superstitious and paranoid do some of these religious folks have to be to discriminate against a little five-year-old because of his family name? Though the school retracted its first stance of not allowing the boy enrollment because of his name, the parents who are Roman Catholic decided they did not want to enroll their boy in the school after all because the school officials only changed their mind when the media became involved.

link: Catholic school opens gates to Hell boy

Mon Jul 9, 10:19 PM ET

MELBOURNE, Australia - The Hell family has protested to a Catholic school in Australia after it objected to enrolling their son because of his name.

Officials said the boy had been offered a place at the St. Peter the Apostle school in the southern city of Melbourne after discussions among the principal, the parish priest and the family over his last name.

But Alex Hell, 45, said he would rather send 5-year-old Max elsewhere because the school balked at taking the boy because of his family name. Hell said he had Austrian heritage and that the name means "bright."

Hell, a Roman Catholic father of three, said he and his wife initially offered to enroll Max using his mother's maiden name, Wembridge, but later changed their minds.

"It just didn't sit right," Hell told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

He said the school withdrew its offer of enrollment for the boy, and only backed down when Hell took his story to the media.

The organization overseeing Catholic schools in Melbourne issued a statement to the media that acknowledged the dispute, but did not give details or address Hell's claim that the initial enrollment offer had been withdrawn.

In the statement, director of Catholic Education Stephen Elder said using the boy's mother's name was the parents' idea to "assist the child in the transition of schools."

"After discussions between the parish priest and principal, St. Peter the Apostle School has made an offer of enrollment to the student," Elder said. "The school is working with the family in the best interests of the child."

It did not mention Hell's claim that the school had initially refused to enroll his son using that name.


Tommy said...

I once had an idea for a story about a guy whose last name was Hitler. He would be a very nice and pleasant person, but just having Hitler as his last name causes people to react negatively to him.

Stardust said...

Hitler, that would make an interesting story. I have to go check my phone book for how many Hitlers there are now...I never paid attention to this stuff before.

breakerslion said...

It seems stange to me that they have a problem with the surname "Hell", but no problem enrolling the bazillion Hispanic children with the given name "Jesus". How much more "in vain" can it be than to take your Lord's name for yourself?

That's what I get for trying to make sense of insanity!

Stardust said...

I wonder if they have a problem with kids named Damian?

What about Amy?

From a list of demonic names:
"Amy is a great president, and appeareth in a flame of fier, but having taken mans shape, he maketh one marvelous in astrologie, and in all the liberall sciences, he procureth excellent familiars, he bewraieth treasures preserved by spirits, he hath the governement of thirtie six legions, he is partlie of the order of angels, partlie of potestats, he hopeth after a thousand two hundreth yeares to returne to the seventh throne: which is not credible."