San Francisco’s school board president wanted to start a conversation but received hate instead.
Matt Haney, the president of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education, set off a firestorm last week on social media when he suggested renaming George Washington H.S. for Maya Angelou or some other non-slave holder.
“I maybe wish I had been clearer that I’m not intending to change the school names without the support of the community,” he told the Washington Post. “We need to be able to have an adult conversation.”
Haney said a mural depicting the nation’s first president with slaves greets people entering the school, which has a student population that’s 6.2 percent African-American.
“Numerous students have told me that they’re disturbed by the mural,” he stated to The Post. “Students have told me that they walk in and it’s disturbing, it’s painful,”
That’s part of the reason the school board president gave for tweeting, “No schools named after slave owners.” Angelou, a former student at the high school, would be a better choice, Haney suggested on Twitter, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In addition to angry posts, the San Francisco Police Department warned Haney about threats against him.