Dianne Feinstein Elementary School will be renamed, along with about a third of San Francisco’s other public schools, according to a report in Jweekly.com.
The move comes after the San Francisco Board of Education voted overwhelmingly to change the names of 44 schools whose namesakes were associated with racism and white supremacy. Their issue with Feinstein, who is Jewish, relates to a 1984 incident from when she was mayor of the city, nearly a decade before she was elected as a senator representing California.
At the time, Feinstein had defended the display of a Confederate flag at City Hall, and even replaced the flag after it was torn down by protestors, Jweekly reported.
Another Jewish politician who will lose a school named in their honor is Gold Rush-era San Francisco mayor Adolph Sutro. In 1897, Sutro denied a Black man entry to a bathhouse which he owned. The man sued Sutro over the event and won.
Unlike the elementary schools named after Feinstein and Sutro, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy – named for another Jewish politician from San Francisco, will not change.
The decision over the Feinstein and Sutro elementary schools was criticized by many current politicians – including San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Scott Wiener, a member of the California State Senate. However, their issue was not with the decision to rename, but for focusing on renaming before reopening the schools.
I agree with Mayor @LondonBreed. Some schools clearly should be renamed. But this flawed process should have waited until schools reopen & we control the virus.
It’s not reasonable to expect engagement from school communities when so many are struggling with remote learning. https://t.co/agB9R3X5sW— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) January 27, 2021
Among other figures who were deemed unfit for their names to be on the city’s schools were presidents Lincoln, Washington, Hoover, both Roosevelts, Garfield, Jefferson, McKinley and Monroe.