SFUSD spokesperson Gentle Blythe told the San Francisco Chronicle that, “[w]hile there are many opinions on the matter, our leadership team agreed that, given that Native American members of our community have expressed concerns over the use of the title, we are no longer going to use it.”
The change will immediately impact 13 officials who use the word “chief” in their titles, but they will have to wait until a new alternative is found, according to the New York Post.
The word is actually derived from the Old French word “chef,” meaning “the head of a group.”
There have been an array of such controversies over terms being dropped for what some may incorrectly assume to be their meaning or origin.
There was the decision at Harvard to drop the traditional term “House master” despite the lack of any connection to slavery. There was also the school district which dropped a cougar mascot as disrespectful to older women. There was also the move to drop the term “quantum supremacy” in physics. Many schools have moved to drop the term “alumni,” which is already gender neutral.
We have faced the same type of debate over the campaign to drop the “Colonials” mascot at The George Washington University. SA Sen. Hayley Margolis, CCAS-U, is quoted in the Hatchet as saying “When we talk about the Colonial in history, what does it mean? And is that really what we want our school identity to be?”
The Colonials is not a general reference to colonialism or a celebration of colonization. To the contrary, the Colonials (including George Washington) fought against being a colony. They fought the British Empire and its belief that you could subject a people to such foreign rule. The term “Colonials” is an obvious and direct reference to those who fought in the Revolutionary War. It is an inspiring symbol for any school.
As educators, we have some responsibility to maintain a principled, if not grammatical, position in the use of terminology and language.
93 thoughts on “San Francisco Unified School District Drops Word “Chief” Out of Respect to Native Americans”
What ignorance! The word was first used in the 13th century…before the New World was even discovered. Even the WaPo ran an op-ed in 2020 about this. Our enemies are laughing at the sort of things we find important these days whilst they wait for just the right moment to strike. In a previous lifetime–2017–this ran in the Toronto Star about a similar move in Canada.
I have a solution for the San Francisco education folks. An already-accepted substitute for Chief was passed by Congress during GW Bush’s administration in or about 2002 — It’s called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and refers to the corporate Officers as ‘Principal’ executive officers rather than the Chief Executive officers. No need to reinvent the wheel.
The repeated personal insults directed at Jeff and Natacha on this blog are disgusting, disappointing, and violate the blog’s civility rule. I urge Professor Turley to speak out against the use of such personal insults and take other appropriate action to improve the civility of his blog.
Concerned Citizen…….Have you read what they’ve written about us?? Talk about insults.
Concerned Citizen my derriere. Anonymous often calls people Stooges. Natacha declares that people are puppets, JeffSilberman often calls Professor Turley a sell out to Fox News in order to denigrate his creditability and you defend these posters by telling us how bad you feel when they are attacked. I am beginning to believe that you are JeffSilberman’s boyfriend.
Every time JeffSilberman says Fox he is a secretly referring to a very pretty women. This is his true mysogynistic obsession. He rolls it of his tongue with bad intent. Hisss
I have brave reservations about San Francisco.
These chiefly are…?
Thinkitthru—-That’s very, very similar to what I wrote earlier in the day!
I could sue you for theft of intellectual property! And don’t think I won’t, Mister! 🙂
These are just power games, no one was really offended. These claims of stupid offense should be ignored.
im sure its true 1 bro but litsen
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Where is the San Andreas Faul i dont know
More proof liberals are deranged.
What did Turley ever see in you?
More proof liberals are deranged
Bill Maher agrees. In fact, precisely for his mocking of the “TRANS” uprising and liberals supporting them, the Advocate gay magazine has called to cancel Bill Maher. So much for tolerance, right jeffb?
I presume you were referring to me though my name is JeffS.
I’ll call you on Bill Maher and raise you John Oliver ridiculing Trumpists who rant that the teaching of CRT will destroy everything we hold near and dear and the foundation upon which this great country was built.
Proof that liberals/leftists/progressive are incapable of being educated or using logic.
Elon Musk should offer one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) for someone, or a group of someones, to assassinate Putin, and divide the reward equally among themselves. That should stop the war.
Anonymous, I’m going to chill on the political vitriol and offer a measured opinion. The Russians are embarrassed by this war at this point. This is what happens when one tries to maintain one of the biggest militaries in the world on an economy the size of Spain.
The Russians have been forced to limit their objectives, and they will likely prevail to that extent. The Ukrainian units in front of Bakhmut and Popasana are starting to crumble. Even with that limited success, the Russians are not so insane as to attack potential NATO partners. NATO’s air power is a demonstrated force of nature compared to the performance of the Russian Air Force in this conflict.
And the Ukrainians have their own issues. Their oligarchs assumed that because American politicians took their bribes, American politicians would fight their wars. The Ukrainians did a fair amount of antagonizing the Bear under that misconception. I’m convinced this war was unnecessary and avoidable. Somebody should have tamped down expectations of American involvement, and they didn’t do that nearly well enough.
Honestly, I think Trump balanced these competing interests much better.
The Russians will murder the hardline elements in the Ukrainian Army, and the Ukrainian Army will embarrass the Russians at their own game. The outcome won’t be pretty, but given the stupidity that got us here, it’s the best outcome we can hope for.
Escalating this conflict is escalating a mistake for which all sides have some culpability. At the beginning of WW I, the Czar and the Kaiser were on opposite sides, and by the time the smoke finally cleared, both men had lost everything. That’s what happens when one escalates mistakes. Let’s try and create incentives to end this conflict as quickly as possible. Sticks and carrots, Anonymous. Not hyperbolic threats.
Where is the San Andreas Fault now that we desperately need it?