The San Francisco Board of Education will advance a controversial plan to rename 44 schools in the city.
On Tuesday evening, the board passed a 6-1 vote to change the school names, honoring historical figures directly or broadly related to slavery, oppression, racism or the “submission” of people.
“This is an opportunity for our students to learn about the history of our school’s names, including potential new ones,” said CEO Gabriela López in a statement. “This resolution came to the school board after the attacks in Charlottesville, and we are working with the rest of the country to dismantle symbols of racism and white supremacy. I am looking forward to the ideas that the schools will bring in. “
Schools whose names are replaced have the opportunity to propose ideas to the board. In addition, the board will receive suggestions from the wider community. The final decisions to change the school name will be made in April by the elected members of the Education Committee.
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In addition to former Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the list includes the naturalist John Muir, the Spanish priest Junipero Serra, the patriot of the American Revolution Paul Revere, the composer of the “Star Spangled Banner” Francis Scott Key and the current Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein .
FILE – George Washington High School is in San Francisco in this photo taken on March 12, 2020. The San Francisco Education Board decided to remove the names of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln from public schools after officials ruled them and other prominent figures, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, unworthy. After months of controversy, the board of directors voted 6-1 on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, to rename 44 school locations in San Francisco with new names unrelated to slavery, oppression, racism or similar criteria, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. (AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, File)
Changing the name of Dianne Feinstein Elementary School raised eyebrows. The groundbreaking 87-year-old star has slacked off in recent years as dismayed Liberals joined demands for her resignation after she hugged Republican Senator Lindsey Graham at the heated confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett would have.
Feinstein was part of the committee that chose the names because, as Mayoress of San Francisco in 1984, she replaced a destroyed Confederate flag that was part of a longstanding flag exhibition in front of City Hall. When the flag was pulled down a second time, it did not replace it.
A Feinstein spokesman declined to comment on FOX Business on the resolution.
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Board member Mark Sanchez called the decision to rename the schools a “moral message”.
“It’s a message to our families, our students, and our community. It’s not just symbolic,” he said, according to the Chronicle
However, some critics argued that the board used little input from historians and did not put the numbers in historical context or weigh their contributions against their mistakes, while others said the research process was thin, relied on selective sources, and used claims sites like Wikipedia to secure.
One example was Roosevelt Middle School, where board members apparently did not know which former President Roosevelt the school was named after, even though they had decided to remove the name anyway.
A plaque for Roosevelt Middle School can be seen outside the school in San Francisco on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. The San Francisco Schools Board voted Tuesday, January 26, to remove the names of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln aft of the public schools
School board member Kevine Boggess, the only one who voted, argued that schools should not be named after elected officials, a rule he wanted to include in the renaming process.
We “shouldn’t make heroes out of mortal people,” he said, according to the Chronicle. “I think we need to review our naming guidelines across the district and really think about how the way we name schools reflects our true values.”
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Another critic of the move was the Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, who said in a statement on Wednesday that the name of a school has a sense of “every student who walks through its doors, regardless of race, religion or religion” Pride should convey sexual orientation, “she doesn’t understand the rush to make sure all schools are renamed by April” if there is no plan to have our children back in the classroom by then. “
“Our students are suffering, and we should talk about putting them in classrooms, helping them with mental health and giving them the resources they need during this challenging time,” Breed said. “Our families are frustrated with the lack of a plan, and they are especially frustrated that the discussion of those plans was not even on the agenda at the school board meeting last night.”
Breed added that students, parents and other members of the community should be involved while supporting the discussion on renaming schools. She also felt that the discussion should take place when the schools reopen.
“Let’s bring the same urgency and focus on getting our kids back into class and then we can talk longer about the future of school names,” Breed said.
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Historian Harold Holzer warned the Associated Press of a “danger of excess” as the country takes a wrecking ball into its past.
“I think there is a risk of applying 21st century moral standards to historical figures a century or two ago,” he said. “We expect everyone to be perfect. We expect everyone to be enlightened. But an enlightened person of 1865 is not that.” the same as an enlightened person by 2021. “
Holzer disagrees with the renaming of Abraham Lincoln High School, which the San Francisco Committee said was due to the treatment of Native Americans during Lincoln’s tenure.
“Nobody deserves credit for the destruction of slavery anymore,” said Holzer, a Lincoln scholar and director of the Roosevelt House of Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. “Lincoln is much more of a liberator than an abuser of racial justice,” he said, adding. “He’s a rising figure in American history.”
Replacing the signage on the 44 schools costs more than $ 400,000, according to Courthouse News. The price could also go up to $ 1 million for schools, according to the Chronicle, to get new activity uniforms, repaint gym floors, and so on. The Chronicle noted that the district is currently in a significant budget deficit that will last until the next school year 75 Million dollars.
Brooke Singman of Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to this report