San Francisco Reverses Decision to Rename ‘Lincoln,’ ‘Washington’ Schools

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The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) voted unanimously on Tuesday to reverse a controversial decision earlier this year to rename 44 schools, including those named for presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

As Breitbart News reported in January:

Schools in San Francisco, California, will be stripped of names honoring famous American leaders deemed unworthy because of a connection to slavery or other unsavory ties, including Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.

John Muir, Francis Scott Key, and Catholic Priest Junipero Serra are also on the list.

In all, 44 school[s] will be renamed, even as critics of the decision cite the committee tasked with picking the schools did not receive enough input from historians and a lack knowledge about the current school names.

The decision was reportedly based on citations to Wikipedia, and inaccurate claims:

The committee based their decisions on Wikipedia and other wildly inaccurate information to source its claims.

Committee chairman Jeremiah Jeffries, along with his fellow committee members, used Wikipedia to support their claims that prominent U.S. historical figures had ties to racist incidents, and therefore warranted the renaming of scores of San Francisco schools, according to a report by Mission Local.

A Google Doc showcasing the committee’s notes attempting to justify their reasons for voting to rename the schools revealed some of the bizarre details behind their decision-making process.

The committee, for example, voted to rename Lowell High School — named after American poet James Russell Lowell according to Mission Local — despite the fact that Lowell was an abolitionist, because committee member noted that according to Wikipedia, “he did not want black people to vote.”

However, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday, the district has now reversed its decision, citing a lawsuit filed last month against the changes:

The San Francisco school board voted unanimously Tuesday to reverse its decision to rename 44 schools it deemed were associated with slavery, oppression, genocide and colonization — in a move to avoid an expensive lawsuit.

The vote concludes months of controversy over the initiative. However, the board plans to revisit the matter after schools have fully reopened, likely in the fall.

In January, the school board voted 6-1 to rename 44 schools, including Lincoln, Washington, Mission and Balboa high schools, as well as Alamo, Jefferson and Serra elementary schools.

The board had put the renaming on hold in February so that it could focus on reopening schools.

The Chronicle notes that left-wing Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe was among the plaintiffs’ lawyers, stating: “I think it goes dangerously far when the Great Emancipator is treated as insufficiently woke.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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