Another local school rebrands over controversial namesakes

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SAN DIEGO — Another San Diego Unified school is getting a name change: Lindbergh-Schweitzer Elementary will change to Clairemont Canyons Academy after faculty and parents raised concerns about name.

A presentation created by the school’s principal explains that the school’s namesakes, aviator Charles Lindbergh and Albert Schweitzer, the theologian and physician, “both have been considered controversial. Some say Lindbergh expressed anti-Semitic views and Schweitzer’s descriptions of his African patients were racist.”

The San Diego Unified School Board ultimately determined a rebrand was appropriate Tuesday night, voting 3-0 in favor of a change. Two members of the board abstained over a separate debate regarding titling the school “Elementary” or “Academy,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

“This is really driven by students and community members, and in the past year it seems people are interested in making a change for the better,” said Samer Naji, who works in the district’s communications office.

In March, students at Junípero Serra High School pushed for a name change because of Father Serra’s role in Spain’s bloody colonization of California and the creation of the missionary system.

“I don’t think it’s coincidence,” Naji said. “I think in the past year and a half, there’s been a reckoning and an awakening. Black Lives Matter has opened eyes to injustices and students are involved.”

Lindbergh-Schweitzer Elementary got its name back in the 1980’s. Monique Rosas went to the school when she was a kid, and her son goes there now.

“If it’s racist, then they should definitely move with the times and upgrade it,” Rosas told FOX 5 Wednesday. “It’s about time we change things around here.”

“I think it’s great the changes are happening,” another parent said. “As long as they are following through on the inside.”

She hopes the curriculum will be updated, too, to reflect the complete — and complicated — stories of historical figures.

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