Brie Stimson, Fox News, January 27, 2021
The American icons were among a list of historical figures whose names will be removed from San Francisco’s public schools following a 6-1 vote by the school board Tuesday, according to multiple reports.
Washington and Jefferson were both slave owners and Lincoln, who ended slavery, became controversial because critics claim he oppressed indigenous people.
The presidents were among a long list of men and women whose namesake schools will soon be renamed. Others on the list include Francis Scott Key, who wrote the words to the national anthem, former presidents William McKinley, James Garfield, James Monroe, and Herbert Hoover, Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere and author Robert Louis Stevenson, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Even an elementary school named for current U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will be changed over allegations that she replaced a damaged Confederate flag outside of City Hall when she was the city’s mayor in 1986, according to Courthouse News. She didn’t replace the flag after it was pulled down a second time.
Mayor London Breed rebuked the plan in October as “offensive,” saying the school board should be focused on reopening schools closed during the pandemic rather than renaming them.
Replacing signage at the 44 schools will cost more than $400,000, according to the Courthouse News. The price tag could also go up to around $1 million for schools to get new activity uniforms, repaint gymnasium floors, etc., according to the Chronicle. The district is facing a budget deficit.
Board member Mark Sanchez, however, called the decision a “moral message.”
“It’s a message to our families, our students and our community. It’s not just symbolic,” he said, according to the Chronicle.