San Francisco's Board of Ed Nixes Controversial Plan

44 schools won't be renamed, at least not until the city's kids get back to full-time in-person learning
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2021 12:59 PM CDT
Controversial Plan to Rename San Francisco Schools Nixed
Abraham Lincoln High School is seen in San Francisco on Jan. 27, 2021.   (AP Photo/Haven Daley)

A plan to rename dozens of schools in San Francisco has fallen by the wayside. After a debate that stretched for years, the city's Board of Education voted in January to yank the names of famous figures who had ties to racism, oppression, or slavery off of 44 schools—about a third of the city's public schools. That meant George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and even Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who brought Confederate flags back to City Hall when she was mayor in the '80s, would have seen their monikers scrubbed. On Tuesday, however, the six-member board voted unanimously to keep all such names intact, at least until students return to in-person school on a full-time basis, per the AP. The much-criticized decision to rename the schools was approved when kids in San Francisco's public schools were all learning remotely due to COVID restrictions.

The new resolution approved Tuesday noted that the board "wishes to avoid the distraction and wasteful expenditure of public funds in frivolous litigation," an apparent reference to lawsuits brought since the renaming decision came down, including one from a dad who said that decision wasn't made with appropriate input from the community. Mayor London Breed also blasted prioritizing the renaming process over getting kids back to in-person learning. NPR notes that Tuesday's vote to indefinitely postpone the renaming move drew applause from a variety of circles, from conservatives who called it a form of "cancel culture" to critics who said that shoddy research and errors led to some names wrongly ending up on the renaming list. (More San Francisco stories.)

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