For the past year, the shuttered San Francisco schools have been schools in name only, so perhaps it’s fitting that the school board has taken to occupying itself by tinkering with their names. The members of the city’s Board of Education, having largely quit the education business and rebranded themselves as amateur historians, found much of history unfit for the honor of association with their empty classrooms.
The school board voted late Tuesday to rename 44 schools in what is no mere correction of anachronistic monuments to racists and conquistadors. The cleansing extends to fully a third of the district’s campuses, sparing no name that, according to the internet research of the board and its emissaries, “significantly diminished the opportunities of those amongst us to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” as a board resolution put it.
Never mind that the name of the man from whom the board borrowed that phrase, Thomas Jefferson, was deemed no longer suitable for attachment to one of the city’s elementary schools.