San Francisco Mayor Says Recalled School Board Members Failed to Do Their Fundamental Job

By Bill Pan
Bill Pan
Bill Pan
Bill Pan is a reporter for The Epoch Times.
February 20, 2022Updated: February 21, 2022

Responding to the recall election in which voters decisively ejected three members from the San Francisco Board of Education, San Francisco Mayor London Breed acknowledged that the school board has failed to do its most basic job, which is to educate children.

“It was really about the frustration of the board of education doing their fundamental job, and that is to make sure that our children are getting educated, that they get back into the classroom,” Breed said on NBC programming. “That did not occur.”

As an example of the school board’s misplaced priorities, Breed pointed to a now-stalled plan to find alternative names for 44 schools that weren’t even open at that time. It wasn’t until August 2021 that San Francisco public schools opened for in-person learning, for the first time in 17 months.

“They were focusing on other things that were clearly a distraction,” she told host Chuck Todd. “Not to say that those other things around renaming schools and conversations around changes to our school district weren’t important, but what was most important is the fact that our kids were not in the classroom.

“We failed our children. Parents were upset. The city as a whole was upset, and the decision to recall school board members was a result of that.”

None of the three board members who were challenged in the recall won enough support to keep their seats. According to the San Francisco’s Department of Elections, Vice President Alison Collins, who faced intense backlash in 2021 because of resurfaced Twitter posts deemed by many to be racist against Asian Americans, was defeated by a margin of more than 50 percent, with roughly 76 percent of voters casting their ballots in favor of recalling her. Board President Gabriela López and Commissioner Faauuga Moliga were voted out with about 72 percent and 69 percent of their respective votes falling in favor of recalling the board members.

Following the Feb. 15 recall vote, López accused those who voted in favor of her ouster of being aligned with “white supremacists.” Breed dismissed her claim as “not the right kind of reaction.”

“The fact that we’re still even listening to any of these recalled school board members is definitely a problem,” Breed said. “Again, we should be focused on the parents. We should be focused on the school district and the challenges that these kids have faced.”

When asked what advice she has for Democrats running the nation’s other big cities, Breed said there’s no partisan issue when it comes to parents being upset with the quality of education that their children receive and that those in charge of public education should do their job regardless of political affiliation.

“This is not a Democratic–Republican issue. This is an issue about the education of our children,” said Breed, who’s now tasked to appoint three new board members. “It’s important that anyone who serves in any capacity, whether it’s school board or Congress or as mayor, to respond to what your priority is.

“In this particular case, the board neglected their primary responsibility to focus on other things—other things that are important, but not as significant as what they were there to do, and that is to educate children.”