AP

SF school board rescinds vote to cover up Washington mural

Jun 23, 2022, 9:15 AM | Updated: 9:53 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco school board has voted to rescind a previous decision to cover up a George Washington campus mural from the 1930s that critics say is racist and degrading in its depiction of Black and Native American people.

The board’s 4-3 vote Wednesday followed a court’s ruling in a lawsuit that the school board’s original decision violated state law, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Board members did not comment on their votes.

The mural was painted in 1936 at George Washington High School by Victor Arnautoff, one of the foremost muralists in the San Francisco area during the Depression.

In addition to depicting Washington as a soldier, surveyor and statesman, the 13-panel, 1,600-square-foot (149-square-meter) mural contains images of white pioneers standing over the body of a Native American and slaves working at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.

New Deal scholars have argued that Arnautoff, a Russian-born communist and social critic, critically depicts unsavory aspects of American history in his work. But some students have contended that the mural’s imagery is offensive and racist.

Supporters say it could play a role in educating people about America’s racist past and covering it up would be censoring art and history.

The school board voted in 2019 to paint over the mural, then decided to cover it up with curtains or panels. The George Washington High School Alumni Association filed a lawsuit, and a judge ruled last year that the board failed to conduct an environmental review and ordered the panel to set aside its decisions.

Wednesday’s vote means the mural must remain on view, but the board could decide in the future to conduct an environmental review and then decide what to do with the artwork, the Chronicle said.

On another matter, the school board voted to return to a merit-based system using test scores and grades for admission to Lowell High School, which is considered one of the highest-performing public high schools in the country.

In October 2020, the board adopted a lottery system for admissions amid controversy including allegations of racism in admissions and lack of diversity. The restored merit system will apply to freshmen entering the school in the fall of 2023.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

16 hours ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

17 hours ago

audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents blocked...

Associated Press

GOP advances Garland contempt charges after White House exerts executive privilege over Biden audio

The move to release audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents was blocked on Thursday by the White House.

2 days ago

Asylum processing for new migrants: Changes could come soon...

Associated Press

The Biden administration is planning more changes to quicken asylum processing for new migrants

The Biden administration is planning to quicken the asylum processing for new migrants as an interim step rather than an executive order.

3 days ago

Record-setting rally for U.S. stocks reflects inflation slowing down...

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares advance after another round of Wall St records

The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% to top its prior high set a month and a half ago. This move reflects a record-setting rally for U.S. stocks.

3 days ago

This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candida...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump agree to hold presidential debates in June and in September

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to hold two campaign debates, on June 27 hosted by CNN and on Sept. 10 hosted by ABC.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

SF school board rescinds vote to cover up Washington mural