News

U.S.

San Francisco Schools Consider Removing Names of Presidents, Including Lincoln, Washington

The Golden Gate Bridge and the skyline of downtown San Francisco, 2016. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

The names of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), and other figures could be removed from San Francisco public schools for connections to racism, environmental abuses, and other offenses, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Thursday.

The district’s School Names Advisory Committee has drawn up a working paper with recommendations to change the names of 44 public schools in the city. The recommendations will be sent to the San Francisco Board of Education, although it is not clear if the Board will adopt the proposals.

According to the working report, school names should be reconsidered for any historical figure “directly involved in the colonization of people, those connected to any human rights or environmental abuses, slave owners or participants in enslavement, and known racists and/or white supremacists and/or espoused racist beliefs.”

The elementary school named after Senator Feinstein was included in the recommendations because of allegations that during her tenure as San Francisco mayor, she ordered the replacement of a Confederate flag outside City Hall, after the flag was vandalized in 1984. It is not clear if this allegation is correct, and Feinstein in fact proceeded to remove the flag.

“Principals are devoting resources to this,” Jonathan Alloy, a parent of students at one of the schools on the list, told the Chronicle. “We’re not actually helping disadvantaged children by changing the name of the school they can’t attend.”

School Board spokeswoman Laura Dudnik told National Review that the district was continuing to work towards providing instruction, both online and in person, during the pandemic.

“The district appreciates that the advisory committee’s timing may be difficult for schools, and has conveyed concerns to the advisory committee regarding the challenges of making recommendations at this time given that we are in distance learning due to the pandemic,” Dudnik wrote in an email.

The recommended name changes follow months of demonstrations after the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers. Rioters in San Francisco have torn down statues of various historical figures, including of Ulysses S. Grant, the northern general who led the fight against the Confederacy in the Civil War.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Media

Wajahat Ali, Ctd.

I gather he didn’t like my comment on his New York Times op-ed on the folly of reaching out to Trump supporters. He snipes, “I await The National Review’s piece on reaching out to Biden voters and reading about their ‘elegy’ and understanding their ‘economic anxiety.’” After the 2016 election, ... Read More
Media

Wajahat Ali, Ctd.

I gather he didn’t like my comment on his New York Times op-ed on the folly of reaching out to Trump supporters. He snipes, “I await The National Review’s piece on reaching out to Biden voters and reading about their ‘elegy’ and understanding their ‘economic anxiety.’” After the 2016 election, ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
World

A Moveable Feast?

Last week a unique but apposite tribute was paid in Budapest to the late Sir Roger Scruton, the distinguished Tory philosopher who died earlier this year: A café was opened in his name. It goes under the designer label “Scruton—The Place to be” and is situated three blocks from the Hungarian Parliament at ... Read More
World

A Moveable Feast?

Last week a unique but apposite tribute was paid in Budapest to the late Sir Roger Scruton, the distinguished Tory philosopher who died earlier this year: A café was opened in his name. It goes under the designer label “Scruton—The Place to be” and is situated three blocks from the Hungarian Parliament at ... Read More