The people of San Francisco voted to toss three of the city’s school board members out on their ears after a pitched recall election – and Mayor London Breed sided with the parents, not the board. When even the Golden City has had enough progressive activism in its schools, what does that say for parents and leaders across the country?
School board President Gabriela López, Vice President Faauuga Moliga, and Commissioner Alison Collins became quite unpopular during the COVID-19 pandemic when it became clear woke politics were prioritized over the concerns of parents and well-being of students. Mayor Breed, a Democrat who has been a sharp critic of the three amigos, released a statement agreeing with the will of the people. “The voters of this city have delivered a clear message that the school board must focus on the essentials of delivering a well-run school system above all else,” she wrote. “San Francisco is a city that believes in the value of big ideas, but those ideas must be built on the foundation of a government that does the essentials well.”
Of the seven board members, only these three were eligible for recall, and each was up for re-election in November, anyway. Instead of being voted out and replaced by the people, those replacements will now be appointed by Mayor Breed, leading some to call the whole thing a waste of time and money. “This recall has not been about making sure all voices are being heard,” according to Julie Roberts-Phung of No School Board Recalls.
But for many, it’s well worth not waiting.
“The city of San Francisco has risen up and said this is not acceptable to put our kids last,” said one of the parents involved in launching the recall effort. “Talk is not going to educate our children, it’s action. It’s not about symbolic action, it’s not about changing the name on a school, it is about helping kids inside the school building read and learn math.”
San Franciscans started the recall effort in January 2021 after the school board voted to change the names of 44 schools that were named after Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and others. The measure was brought to a vote because these public figures were linked to racism and sexism. Naturally, the move received no small amount of criticism.
While it is not surprising that some residents of San Francisco would be perturbed by the school board’s obvious lack of concern for the opinions of parents, the fact that the removal succeeded should give pause to those who follow these stories. Sure, the officials were not prioritizing important matters, but in a city that is so decidedly progressive, one could not be blamed for assuming it was not much of an issue. Instead, this story proves there’s only so much wokeism that even the woke can stomach.
The outcomes of the recall elections could also have broader implications nationally, given the fact that education is shaping up to be a top issue in the upcoming midterm elections. Debates over mask mandates, gender ideology, and Critical Race Theory abound, and they are only heating up. It might be appropriate, then, to look at this recall election in a similar fashion to Virginia’s gubernatorial race. Many members of the chattering class surmised that Glenn Youngkin’s win might give the nation a glimpse into how the November elections could shake out.
If San Francisco voters actually removed school board members for being overly zealous in their application of woke theology, what could this mean for other cities that are not quite as deep blue? School board elections are happening all over the country, and parents concerned about the material taught to their children daily are rebelling against progressive ideology being infused into the classroom. They are also fed up with mask mandates and school closures. If what happened in the Bay Area is any indication, there will likely be more school board members who are given their walking papers in the near future.
~ Read more from Jeff Charles.