George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln are history in San Francisco.
The city voted to rename 44 schools honoring the trio and other “racist” historical figures, it was revealed Wednesday.
In a controversial move, the city’s Board of Education voted 6-1 Monday to scrap the namesakes in light of anti-racism protests that swept the nation last year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“It’s a message to our families, our students and our community,” declared board member Mark Sanchez. “It’s not just symbolic.”
Schools named after national leaders found to have had problematic “values” — including former presidents William McKinley, James Garfield, James Monroe — will be changed to honor people who have not aided or abetted slavery, genocide or human rights abuses, the paper reported.
Other historical figures yanked from school buildings include Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere and author Robert Louis Stevenson.
An elementary school named after US Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will be also be scrapped over allegations that she replaced a damaged Confederate flag outside of City Hall when she was the city’s mayor in 1986.
Replacing signage, sports uniforms and gym floors in schools is expected to cost more than $400,000 — sparking criticism that the board should instead be focused on reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, according to FOX News.
“It’s offensive to parents who are juggling their children’s daily at-home learning schedules with doing their own jobs and maintaining their sanity,” Mayor London Breed said in October. “It’s offensive to our kids who are staring at screens day after day instead of learning and growing with their classmates and friends.”
In 2018, the board voted to establish a task force to study whether the school names should be changed based on factors including if a historical figure owned slaves or is associated with genocide or oppression. The plans were bumped up to a priority in early 2020.
“We need to examine our naming policies across the district and really consider how the way we go about naming schools reflects our true values,” said Board member Kevine Boggess, who supported the resolution.
Washington and Jefferson owned slaves while Lincoln’s administration was found to be discriminatory and damaging to Native Americans, board members said.
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