San Francisco’s Board of Education met on Tuesday to approve the renaming of 44 public schools, including one named after California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, according to Courthouse News.
The decision on renaming the schools comes more than two years after the original panel to review the “appropriateness” of the schools was formed in May of 2018, reported Courthouse News.
- Anyone directly involved in the colonization of people
- Slave owners or participants in enslavement
- Perpetuators of genocide or slavery
- Those who exploit workers/people
- Those who directly oppressed or abused women, children, queer or transgender people
- Those connected to any human rights or environmental abuses
- Those who are known racists and/or white supremacists and/or espoused racist beliefs
Feinstein is among the list of people deemed “inappropriate” to have a school named after them, meaning that Dianne Feinstein Elementary will be subject to the change.
Feinstein has been accused of replacing a confederate flag that was vandalized outside of City Hall with a new one in 1986 when she was the mayor of San Francisco.
Among the 44 names that are set to be removed are Thomas Jefferson and Francis Scott Key, who were both slave owners.
Junipero Serra, a Spanish Catholic missionary, is being removed for reportedly supporting the conquest of indigenous peoples. (RELATED: San Francisco To Rename Schools Whose Names May Be ‘Inappropriate,’ Including Schools Named After Washington, Jefferson And Lincoln)
Abraham Lincoln will have his name stripped from Abraham Lincoln High School for “contributing to the genocide of indigenous people.”
Other namesakes set for removal are Presidents James Monroe, James Garfield, William McKinley and Herbert Hoover, as well as revolutionary Paul Revere and author Robert Louis Stevenson.
The school board voted 6-1 to change the names, according to Fox News.
Replacing the signage for the schools will cost $440,000, Deputy Superintendent Myong Leigh told Courthouse News.
Families for San Francisco released a report earlier this month criticizing the method used to pick which schools to rename. The report claimed that the community was left out of the discussion and that the panel did not consult with historians.
“The Committee’s process was flawed in two ways,” the report stated. “1. The Committee did not ‘engage the larger San Francisco community in a sustained discussion’ as the original Resolution resolved. 2. The Committee was not guided or informed by professional historians or any other parties with the historical expertise required for the Committee to do its work.”
“The Guiding Principles used by the Committee was a ‘Just One Thing’ test, where a historical figure was to be removed from a school name on the basis of just a single incident from a list of criteria,” the report added.
The decision even drew criticism from Democratic Mayor of San Francisco London Breed.
In an October press release the mayor said, “But the fact that our kids aren’t in school is what’s driving inequity in our City. Not the name of a school. We are in a pandemic right now that is forcing us all to prioritize what truly matters. Conversations around school names can be had once the critical work of educating our young people in person is underway.”
“Once that is happening, then we can talk about everything else. Until those doors are open, the School Board and the District should be focused on getting our kids back in the classroom,” she added.