San Francisco School Board Votes to Rename 44 Schools, Including Those Honoring Washington and Lincoln

The San Francisco Board of Education on Tuesday capped two years of research over whose names should be erased from the city’s public schools, voting to ban 44 names, including Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

A school board committee had developed a set of rules to determine who should be forgotten by future generations, according to the Courthouse News Service.

Those to be banned would have been anyone involved in the colonization of indigenous people; slave owners; perpetuators of slavery or genocide; bosses who exploited their workers; anyone who oppressed or abused women, children or the LGBT population; anyone who could be lined to human rights or environmental abuses; and “known racists and/or white supremacists” or anyone who supported those beliefs.

The 6-1 board decision to move forward with the re-naming was attacked by San Francisco Mayor London Breed, according to The New York Times. Announcement of the naming decision coincided with an announcement that the city has no plan to re-open schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Let’s bring the same urgency and focus on getting our kids back in the classroom, and then we can have that longer conversation about the future of school names,” Breed said.

The editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that members of the city’s board of education had “largely quit the education business and rebranded themselves as amateur historians.”

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