Voters Recall Several Members Of School Board In San Francisco By Massive Margins

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Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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Residents in San Francisco voted overwhelmingly to boot three school board members from their positions following a sustained recall effort over the board’s plans — or lack thereof — to reopen schools, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Board President Gabriela Lopez, Vice President Faauuga Moliga, and Commissioner Alison Collins were each booted from their positions by approximately 50-point margins, according to the San Francisco Department of Elections. Collins was ousted by the largest margin.

Siva Raj, a parent who kickstarted the recall effort, told the New York Post that it “is not acceptable to put our kids last.” Raj’s recall effort website stated that the board prioritized changing school sites over returning San Francisco children to in-person learning.

The board attempted to rename 44 school sites that were allegedly linked to racism, including schools named after former Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, as well as Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The district also faces a $125 million budget deficit, according to the New York Post.

Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed backed the recall effort and issued a statement condemning the board’s priorities.

“Talk is not going to educate our children, it’s action. It’s not about symbolic action, it’s not about changing the name on a school, it’s about helping kids inside the school building read and learn math,” Breed said.

“The voters of this city have delivered a clear message that the school board must focus on the essentials of delivering a well-run school system above all else,” Breed continued.

Shamann Walton, the Board of Supervisors president, reportedly claimed that the recall efforts were pushed by “closet Republicans and most certainly folks with conservative values in San Francisco, even if they weren’t registered Republicans.”

The San Francisco Chronicle painted a different picture of the recall backers that gathered Tuesday night to celebrate their victory. One of the backers, David Thompson, who also reportedly goes by the name “Gaybraham” Lincoln, was described as being “dressed in head-to-toe rainbow drag and towering platform shoes.”

“This is what happens when you try to rename the schools in the middle of a pandemic,” Thompson said. “We wanted to show the diversity of the community behind his recall. I knew they were going to say, ‘Oh, isn’t it just a bunch of Republicans?’ And I’m like, do I look like a Republican?”

Now-former board member Collins tweeted that the recall was “costly,” “disruptive,” and riddled with “right-wing talking points.” Collins was often criticized for anti-Asian tweets from 2016. (RELATED: School Board VP Faces Recall For Saying Asian-Americans Use ‘White Supremacist Thinking’)

“Recallers’ consistent refrain for a costly, disruptive recall is that it’s ‘for the kids.’ Right-wing talking points always equate school closures to child endangerment,” Collins said. “Funny, one of their biggest backers raises money for DeSantis, a guy who also says he ‘cares about kids.”’