San Francisco halts plan to remove names on 44 schools including Washington, Lincoln

"Mistakes were made," the president of the school board said.

Updated: February 24, 2021 - 10:12am

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The San Francisco school board has halted its effort to rename 44 schools named after George Washington and other Americans board members concluded held "racist" or other beliefs of which they disapproved.

"I acknowledge and take responsibility that mistakes were made in the renaming process," Gabriela Lopez, president of the San Francisco Unified School District board, said Sunday.

Lopez said school district officials will instead focus on re-opening classroom for in-person learning and called the months-long controversy about the re-naming school "one of the many distracting debates."

The school board voted on Jan. 26 to rename schools, after the list of names was submitted to members in October 2020 by an advisory committee.

The criteria for removing the names includes Americans who are "known racists and/or white supremacists." 

Some of the other names to be remove include Abraham Lincoln, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and national anthem writer Francis Scott Key.