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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Friday, October 16, 2020
San Francisco May Change 'INAPPROPRIATE' Names of 44 City Schools, Including Washington and Lincoln: report
'We’re not actually helping disadvantaged children by changing the name of the school they can’t attend'' a parent said
At least 44 schools in San Francisco could see their names changed, as officials believe some were named after those with potential connections to slavery, genocide and colonization, according to a report on Thursday.
The San Francisco School Names Advisory Committee researched school names and identified certain ones for renaming. Some Principals and parents questioned the wisdom of devoting energy on this issue when so many children continue to take remote lessons.
Jonathan Alloy, whose children attend one of the schools on the list, criticized the timing. He said kids are already forced to conduct distance learning, which negatively impacts minorities more so than their peers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Principals are devoting resources to this," he said. “We’re not actually helping disadvantaged children by changing the name of the school they can’t attend."
The move comes during a year that has seen statues and monuments of historical figures toppled throughout the U.S., amid a call against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd in police custody back in May.
According to the paper, certain criteria by the committee included: "Anyone directly involved in the colonization of people, those connected to any human rights or environmental abuses, slave owners or participants in enslavement, and known racists and/or white supremacists and/or espoused racist beliefs."
Some of the schools listed under the proposed name changes included Abraham Lincoln High School, George Washington High School, Roosevelt Middle School, and Jefferson Elementary.
The committee's recommendation, which is heading to the school board, said the names of Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson that have connections to connections to slavery, genocide, or oppression, must be changed.
Included was a recommendation to change the name of Dianne Feinstein Elementary, which honors the current U.S. Senator and former mayor of San Francisco, because she reportedly replaced a vandalized Confederate flag back in 1986.
Panelist Mariposa Villaluna requested that the committee also include Thomas Edison Elementary School on the list because of his treatment toward animals.