A public school in the San Francisco Bay Area named after a California governor who espoused racist views and opposed giving minorities the right to vote will change its name to “Love Elementary.”
The school in Alameda is named after Henry H. Haight, who in his 1867 gubernatorial inauguration address said he opposed giving Asian Americans and African Americans the right to vote “upon a conviction of the evils which would result to the whole country from corrupting the source of political power with elements so impure.”
School officials let the community vote on the change and pick a new name. In November, they voted to name the school “Love Elementary.”
The school board voted this week 5-0 to accept the change.
Alameda Unified School District Superintendent Sean McPhetridge said Haight’s views and name have no place at an elementary school.
“We must remember and learn our history,” McPhetridge told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Everybody understood that the name could not stand. Haight could not stand. Love prevailed.”
The name Haight will be removed from signs, stationery and other materials and the building before the fall start of school.
The Alameda school board is the latest Bay Area body to remove, renounce and revise mascots, building and street names, and public art and monuments for their ties to historical injustices. Last week, a school board in the Bay Area city of San Rafael voted to rename the Dixie School District because of its Confederate connotation.
Haight Street of San Francisco’s famous Haight-Ashbury district, a landmark of 1960s counterculture, was named after a relative of the governor, not Henry H. Haight, local historians say.