Statement from Mayor London Breed: School District Should Focus on Public School Reopening, Not Renaming
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today issued the following statement on the San Francisco Unified School District’s ongoing process to consider renaming public schools.
“Schools have been allowed to open in San Francisco under public health orders issued at the beginning of September and while many private schools are open today, our public schools have still not yet made a firm plan to open. Parents are frustrated and looking for answers. The achievement gap is widening as our public schools kids are falling further behind every single day. As a City, we have provided the school district $15 million from our general fund for support during this pandemic, opened Community Hubs to help our students with learning under adult supervision, and our Department of Public Health has worked with the District and provided guidance on how to safely reopen. I know this isn’t easy, I know there are tough choices to be made, but the School District and the Board of Education need to do what needs to be done to get our kids back in school.
And now, in the midst of this once in a century challenge, to hear that the District is focusing energy and resources on renaming schools -- schools that they haven’t even opened -- is offensive. It’s offensive to parents who are juggling their children’s daily at-home learning schedules with doing their own jobs and maintaining their sanity. It’s offensive to me as someone who went to our public schools, who loves our public schools, and who knows how those years in the classroom are what lifted me out of poverty and into college. It’s offensive to our kids who are staring at screens day after day instead of learning and growing with their classmates and friends.
Look, I believe in equity. It’s at the forefront of my administration and we’ve made historic investments to address the systemic racism confronting our city. But the fact that our kids aren’t in school is what’s driving inequity in our City. Not the name of a school. We are in a pandemic right now that is forcing us all to prioritize what truly matters. Conversations around school names can be had once the critical work of educating our young people in person is underway. Once that is happening, then we can talk about everything else. Until those doors are open, the School Board and the District should be focused on getting our kids back in the classroom."