(PNS reporting from SAN ANTONIO) All across America, elementary school teachers performed a traditional back-to-school ritual this week — the ceremonial renaming of thousands of boys named “José.”
The annual ritual is performed when teachers take roll in the morning:
- First, teachers call the boys named “José” by new “American” names, typically “Joe,” “Joey,” or “Joseph.”
- After a moment of silence, the boys realize the teacher is calling them, and the ceremony concludes when the boys accept their new names by answering with “here” or “present.”
The ritual was performed here earlier this week at Indian Creek Elementary School.
Local mom Altagracia Morales told PNS her son went to the school Tuesday morning as a boy named José Morales and returned home Tuesday afternoon as a boy named Joey Morales.
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Little José was named after his “deceased grandfather José Galván and in honor of Jesus Christ’s step-father,” she explained. But when she picked the seven-year-old up from school, he announced, “Mom, I’m Joey now, not José.”
“Woah, I can’t believe my son is a ‘Joey!'” said the mother of two. “I was worried he would get a serious name, like ‘Joseph.’”
Several independent sources told PNS that the renaming ceremony also included many Franciscos, who became “Frank” or “Frankie.”
In San Diego, Chunky Sanchez went through the very same “American name” ritual (video, below) at his school: .