Voters Recall 3 Members of San Francisco School Board Who Prioritized Renaming Over Reopening

San Francisco residents voted Tuesday to recall three school board members: Faauuga Molliga, Alison Collins, and Gabriela Lopez. The recall went as planned and Democratic Mayor London Breed who supported the recall will now appoint the successors.

The recall happened for one reason, and one reason only: The extremely progressive school board completely neglected the actual needs of working families, engendering a backlash among conservatives, liberals, moderates, independents—basically everyone to the right of Robin DiAngelo.

SFUSD school closure policies are the best among all of the madness the Democratic-controlled schools boards and teachers union-beholden political politicians committed during the pandemic. San Francisco schools were closed to in-person learning. Until fall 2021.

According to local news station KRCG, “Most of the city’s 115 schools which are responsible for 50,0000 students were shut down over the past year from March 2020 through August 2021.”

Meanwhile, the school board was busy—not trying to reopen the schools, but renaming them. While parents and students were all dealing with the frustrations of virtual learning, district officials were working hard to change the names of 44 supposedly problematically named schools—buildings named for figures like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, even Abraham Lincoln and Diane Feinstein. El Dorado Elementary was also named by the fictional city of gold. Alamo Elementary is named instead for the Spanish poplar tree.

NPR reports that the board also “cited incorrect historical information about Revolutionary War figure Paul Revere trying smuggle land from Penobscotscots in Maine.” He was part of the 1779 Penobscot Expedition, which was in fact an unsuccessful battle against the British. They had already landed on Penobscot territory a month prior and “captured” it.

There are reasonsMatt Welch from’s Matt Welch reports more on the recall

San Francisco’s local villains are nearly too comical to believe. Collins led the field with voter rebuke (79% of voters choosing to fire him), and has at different times referred COVID’s learning loss as “…”learning change,” characterized Asian Americans who were insufficiently anti-Trump as “house n****s,” and then, when rebuked by the SFUSD board for such racism, filed a bizarre $87 million lawsuit against her own Board of Education that was dismissed by an incredulous judge as lacking any supportive facts, though in the process it cost the very district she represents nearly $200,000 in legal fees.

Collins, a definitional elite (her husband is one of the city’s most successful real estate developers; the two live in a Russian Hill complex valued in 2019 at $3.2 million), has refused at every step to apologize for her school-closing record. She said that “I am actually very proud of my board work,” last month to the San Francisco ExaminerIt is similar to the San Francisco ChronicleHer ouster was enthusiastically supported by ).

“People want us to say we were wrong, we regret doing what we did, we’re sorry,” López said similarly on a recent Latina Latino Latinx News podcast. “That will never be something I will do.”

It is difficult to define the school-renaming effort as something other than misplaced priorities and ignorance. Perhaps you are more concerned with removing George Washington from a school building than in helping children get the learning that they deserve, then maybe you should not be a member the school board.