California Law School Drops Founder’s Name As Part Of ‘Restorative Justice’ Plan

(Screenshot/YouTube/UC Law San Francisco)

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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The University of California Hastings College of the Law will now be rebranded as University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (UC Law SF) as part of an on-going effort to distance itself from the school’s founder for reported atrocities against native tribes in the 1800s.

A 2017 investigation into the school’s founder, Serranus Hastings, found that he played a role in “seizing” California land and accused that he “perpetrated genocidal acts against Native California Indigenous Peoples,” according to Assembly Bill 1936, which passed to approve the school’s name change. The bill, which details the school’s alleged ties to native genocide, also required the school issue an annual apology to the native tribes. (RELATED: Public School In Illinois Drops Thomas Jefferson From Name Due To Slavery Links)

The name change became official on Jan. 1, however it will take approximately six months to complete rebranding efforts, according to a Jan. 3 press release. The name change was “an integral part of restorative justice efforts” alongside “opening an Indigenous Law Center and providing legal assistance to California tribes through law school fellowships.”

“Our new name accurately reflects our law school through its geographic location and recognizes it as an anchor institution in the City of San Francisco, where we’ve proudly made our home since its founding in 1878,” Chancellor & Dean David Faigman said in the press release.

The name change faced significant pushback from both the native tribes that were to be considered in the name change and Hastings’ descendants. Native representatives argued against including the city in the school’s name during a July meeting because of its connections to “the Catholic mission system,” Cal Matters reported.

“To us, the name San Francisco means the same kind of death and destruction as the name Hastings, just a different time and place,” Steve Brown, councilman of the Yuki Committee, reportedly said according to Cal Matters. “We don’t feel restorative justice would be accomplished by substituting one name with a horrific history for another with an equally horrific history.”

Additionally, Hastings’ descendants attempted to stop the name change by filing a lawsuit in October which questioned the accuracy of the allegations against the school’s founder.

“There is no evidence that S.C. Hastings desired, requested, or knowingly encouraged State or its militia to commit mass-murder or any other atrocity against Native Americans,” the lawsuit reads.

A California trial judge dismissed the case on Dec. 20, clearing the way for the school to order a complete revision of its name, Bloomberg Law reported.

The Round Valley Indian Tribes did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. UC Law SF responded with the press release.

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