The plan to rename dozens of San Francisco schools, as they say, “went out of the way.” After years of debate, the city’s Board of Education voted in January this year to remove from the names of 44 schools (about a third of all city public schools) the names of famous historical figures who, according to councilors, were somehow associated with racism, oppression or slavery.
The list of these “incorrect” names includes not only Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but also the living Democratic Senator from California Diane Feinstein, who, as mayor of San Francisco in the 1980s, returned the Confederate flag to the city hall.
However, in April, the six-member council voted unanimously to cancel the plans – at least until schools resume full-time “in-person” classes (in January due to the coronavirus pandemic, classes were held online).
The council’s resolution states that its members “wanted to avoid wasting public funds in frivolous litigation,” an explicit reference to numerous lawsuits brought by parents following the council’s first resolution. The abolition of the renaming of schools drew the approval of conservatives, who called the measure a manifestation of a “culture of abolition” which had spread.