San Francisco

San Francisco School Board May Reverse Renaming Schools Vote in Upcoming Meeting

Parents watching this process say this whole issue continues to be a distraction when the real focus should be on the classroom

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The embattled San Francisco Unified School Board could decide on Tuesday to pause an effort to rename 44 schools in the district.

The panel that put together the list of proposed schools has drawn criticism for a process that some say relied on Wikipedia instead of historians.

 The renaming panel proposed 44 schools should be renamed because of links to historic figures tied to oppression and racism.

Those school names included Washington and even Abraham Lincoln High School, which sued.

The lead attorney on the lawsuit, Paul Scott said one issue is the community wasn’t involved in the process.

"This approach of basically suggesting that they have the corner on morality and dictating to everyone else, from the top down,” he said. “What's going to go on with your school, that is not an acceptable approach."

 On Tuesday, San Francisco Unified School Commissioners will vote on adopting a resolution to formerly pause the renaming process.

It follows guidance from a judge that avoids costly litigation but takes issue with the lawsuit filed against them calling it a "transparent attempt to thwart a lawful and duly noticed action" and the commissioner are only voting on the resolution to avoid "wasteful expenditures of public funds in frivolous litigation."

Parents watching this process say this whole issue continues to be a distraction when the real focus should be on the classroom.

"I think renaming is extremely important. I just, I struggle honestly, to deal with re-naming while my children aren't in school right now and I watch them struggle,” said Yvette Edwards, a parent of a SFUSD student.

Edwards told NBC Bay Area she's more concerned about the schedules she's going to have to balance because of a complicated back to school process.

"It's a bit frustrating unfortunately, because we're one of the sites where a second grader might be going back to school for five days, for a very shortened amount of time during the day.

But my fourth grader will only be going back for two days."

Adding to the tension at Tuesday’s board meeting, it will be the first since commissioner Alison Collins was stripped of her vice president position over racially charged tweets she posted.

In 2016, prior to being elected to the board and since she filled a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the district and her fellow board members over their decision.

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