San Francisco School Board Removes Names of Historical Figures

by Seth Udinski
San Francisco School Board Removes Names of Historical Figures

Seth Udinski, FISM News


The San Francisco School Board has voted to rename multiple public schools, including those named after U.S. Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

In all, 42 schools originally named after American historical leaders and figures were stripped of their names. Among the renamed schools are George Washington High School, Monroe Elementary School, Longfellow Elementary School (named after poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), Roosevelt Middle School, and Abraham Lincoln High School. The Washington Post reported on Friday the reason why:

(The plan) calls for removing from schools names of those who ‘engaged in the subjugation and enslavement of human beings,’ ‘oppressed women,’ committed acts that ‘led to genocide,’ or who ‘otherwise significantly diminished the opportunities of those amongst us to the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’

While some were glad to see these historical figures’ names removed from their schools, many are outraged.  They see this as an act of revisionist history, robbing these men and women of the respect they deserve for their service to the United States.  More importantly, they see this as a missed opportunity to teach their children about true history, history that includes men and women who were both flawed and noble.

The most confounding example is Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, who led the country through its darkest period and would become its most influential figure in the fight against slavery.  Abraham Lincoln’s leadership led to the abolition of slavery in the United States in 1865. The Board voted to change the name of Abraham Lincoln High School after claiming his defense of the African American community did not adequately extend to the Native American community.