The San Francisco Unified School District’s art program is axing its former name, “VAPA” because they say, “acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture.”
The acronym, which stood for “visual and performing arts,” could “alienate” non-native English speakers, according to district art department director Sam Bass. The new name will be San Francisco Unified School District Art Department.
The decision to change the art department’s name follows other antiracist measures the city has implemented, including the vote last week to change the names of 44 schools honoring “racist” historical figures, including those named after Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson.
“We are prioritizing antiracist arts instruction in our work,” Bass, told ABC 7 San Francisco.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, “the San Francisco school board is still forcing students to work from home even as it focuses on adopting antiracist policies.” The San Francisco Chronicle reported that new data showed remote learning has disproportionately impacted minority students’ test scores. The Beacon reports that the school district and teachers’ union have so far failed to reach an agreement on how to return to the classroom safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
San Francisco school board president Gabriela López said the board is “committed” to dismantling “symbols of racism and White supremacy culture.”