North Star Borough School Board member seeks to change school’s name

A member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board is asking to change the name of an elementary school. Michael O’Brien says Badger Road Elementary is named for a convicted pedophile. The historical records show Harry M. Badger admitted to abusing a 10 year old girl.



Fairbanks School board Vice-President Mike O’Brien said when he first ran for office, several people told him about Harry M. Badger. One hundred years ago the official land recorder was accused of raping a young girl.  O’Brien said at first he had his doubts and dug into the history and learned that Badger’s defense attorney sought out a French expert who explained pedophilia was a mental disorder that couldn’t be helped. The prosecutor was Badger’s friend who didn’t want to see him in jail. O’Brien said Judge Charles Bunnell, the future president of the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, handed down a sentence of six months in jail.

O’Brien said once Badger served his time he was back in Fairbanks and returned to being a prominent and respected member of the community.

Now board member Mike O’Brien thinks it’s time to change the name. Whatever virtues Badger may have had, it’s inappropriate to have a convicted pedophile’s name on an elementary school.

The school board will take up O’Brien’s suggestion at a work session Monday night. His research is on-line at the school district’s website.

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