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February 24, 2021

            Back in January the president of San Francisco's School Board, Gabriela Lopez, announced that the school board voted 6-1 to rename 44 schools that honored racist political figures.  Those names included Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Roosevelt, Jefferson, Alamo, and Paul Revere.

            Washington and Jefferson were known slave owners.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle Lincoln, though known for his legacy of emancipation, is included "because of the Civil War president's treatment of American Indians, which included a mass hanging after an uprising,"  Paul Revere for his colonization of Native American Lands.

            When a reporter pointed out that some of their reasoning was based on incorrect facts, the school's president accused the reporter of trying to undermine the work that was done.

            Problem is, there wasn't one historian on the committee doing the research on the names.  Lopez said the board relied on "a diverse set of community members, people with a set of experiences that contribute to these discussions, people from different backgrounds who are also educated in their own rights."  But, not one historian.

            The move was criticized nationwide for being flawed without having any insight from historians and based on misinformation.

            On Tuesday, the School Board President announced they would scrub the decision to rename the 44 "racist" names from its schools.  She posted on her social media account "I acknowledge and take responsibility that mistakes were made in the renaming process."

            In wrote in a statement she wrote, "We recognize we need to slow down. And we need to provide more opportunities for community input. We are working with educators at all levels to involve and educate our school communities about the renaming process. We are realizing, especially now, it will take time and energy to get that right." 

            Good thing because San Francisco school has quite a bit more to be thinking about.  She also posted "Reopening will be our only focus until our children and young people are back in schools. We're cancelling renaming committee meetings for the time being." 

            Of course, the retreat was only sounded after the city of San Francisco sued the school district over another matter.  It is a first for the Golden State – a city suing its' school district.

            According to the lawsuit, the number of suicidal children in the city has hit a record high and health experts say it is clear that keeping public schools closed "is catalyzing a mental health crisis among school-aged children."

            Included in the suit was alarming testimony from hospitals in the Bay Area, doctors, and parents on the emotional and mental harms of extended distance learning.

            The University of California San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital reported a 66 percent increase in the number of suicidal children in the emergency room and a 75 percent increase in youth who required hospitalization for mental health services, according to the suit.

            It was a case of cancel culture forgetting current culture and learning how to prioritize the needs of the students. 

            The cancelling of names of schools, when and where it should be done, needs to be based on facts.

            So do the needs of the students.

            Cancel the cancel.

· End of article ·  


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