The San Francisco school system’s plan to rename 44 schools for insufficiently progressive names is on hold.
Board President Gabriela Lopez said Sunday that the board had made mistakes in the renaming process and needs to work on getting schools reopened safely.
She said reopening will be the board’s “only focus,” and meetings of the renaming committee are canceled until the schools are opened again.
“There have been many distracting public debates as we’ve been working to reopen our schools,” she wrote in an opinion piece published in Monday’s San Francisco Chronicle and posted online Sunday.
“I acknowledge and take responsibility that mistakes were made in the renaming process,” she wrote.
“In the meantime, this is the last time I’ll comment publicly on renaming until schools are reopened,” Ms. Lopez added. “We will not be taking valuable time from our board agendas to further discuss this, as we need to prioritize reopening.”
In her column, Ms. Lopez said the board will make the process more “deliberative” by getting local historians involved, a point on which it was heavily criticized.
Some of the schools that had been set to be renamed included Dianne Feinstein Elementary, Alamo Elementary, Jefferson Elementary and Abraham Lincoln High School.
According to the Chronicle, the board has been ridiculed for Wikipedia-based historical errors in its decision-making. For example, it decided to rename Alamo Elementary without realizing that it was named after the Spanish word for the cottonwood tree, not the mission in Texas that attracted the board’s ire.
Other board members declined requests for comment from the Chronicle.
San Francisco attorney Paul Scott, who had threatened a lawsuit accusing the board of violating the state’s open-meeting law, told the Chronicle the board has “evidently seen reason,” but added that he wants “specifics in writing” before dropping his legal actions.
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