December 2020 Update
The SFUSD Board of Education has pushed back it’s date for “alternative names” from the school sites until April 19th. President of the Board, Mark Sanchez, would like the full Board to review and discuss the list of schools in January, but not consider potential new names at that time. They will validate or modify the list of schools that should be renamed.
October 2020 Update
The below letter is from the group of SF Alumni Associations that oppose changing the names of the schools. The below FAQ will hopefully catch you up on the basics of what is going on.
On May 22, 2018, the SFUSD Board of Education passed Resolution No. 184-10A1 to establish a panel to oversee a formalized process that reviews San Francisco public school names. This panel will be responsible for considering the relevance of schools names and appropriateness of these names when they honor historical figures and making recommendations to the Board of Education for further action.
—*What is the criteria for a name change?*—
According to The Committee the criteria is as follows:
-Anyone directly involved in the colonization of people
-Slave owners or participants in enslavement
-Perpetuators of genocide or slavery
-Those who exploit workers/people
-Those who directly oppressed or abused women, children, queer or transgender people
-Those connected to any human rights or environmental abuses
-Those who are known racists and/or white supremacists and/or espoused racist beliefs
—*What is the latest update?*—
The Committee has determined 42 school names that are up for a potential name change. They have asked the schools to come up with two choices for a new name. This is due back to the committee by December 18th.
The Committee is citing the Dakota Uprising of 1862 as the reason for Lincoln’s inclusion for a name change. In the incident, over 300 members of the Dakota Native American tribe were sentenced to death. Lincoln commuted all but 38 of these sentences and the men were later charged with murder and rape and subsequently hanged in what is the largest mass execution in US History.
—*Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of the greatest American Presidents. Doesn’t the good outweigh the bad?*—
The Committee has determined not to hold this standard for Lincoln.
—*What can be done?*—
1) The School Names Advisory Committee welcomes public comment at their virtual meetings on Wednesdays and via e-mail at email@example.com. Their next meeting is January 6, 2021.
2) E-mails and letters can also be addressed to:
Dr. Vincent Matthews, Superintendent SFUSD, 555 Franklin St. SF, CA 94102. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Sanchez, President, Board of Education, 555 Franklin St, SF, CA 94102. e-mail MarkSanchez@sfusd.edu
3) The coalition of SF Alumni Associations opposing this change at SaveSchoolNames@gmail.com
What if I want more information?
The Committee’s guiding principles, recorded meetings, list of schools and minutes can be found on the SFUSD website at: https://www.sfusd.edu/…/school-renaming-advisory-committee, you may also contact the Alumni Associations opposing this change at SaveSchoolNames@gmail.comGutentor Simple Text