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SF Forum: The Arnautoff Murals, Identity Politics, Privatization & Public Education

Saturday, October 05, 2019
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
518 Valencia St.
San Francisco, California

10/5 SF Forum:
The Arnautoff Murals, Identity Politics, Privatization & Public Education

Saturday, October 5, 2019

2:00 PM
518 Valencia St. San Francisco, CA

Donation Requested


Tamaka Bailey - Native American elder & storyteller
Lope Yap Jr. - VP George Washington High Alumni Association
Jack Heyman - ILWU Local 10 Retired
Rex Ridgeway - Grandparent of a student at MLK and full-time school volunteer
Carol Denney - Artist and activist
Jack Gerson - Retired OEA union activist & educator

The battle over the proposed destruction of the now world-famous Victor Arnautoff murals at George Washington High has raised critical issues not only about art and the Communist artist Victor Arnautoff but also about public education in San Francisco and the country.

For over eighty-three years these historic murals have been at George Washington High without signage and many students have been unaware about the background and history of labor, the San Francisco 1934 General Strike and the connection with these murals.

The plan by the school district board and Eli Broad trained Superintendent Vincent Matthews to spend $850,000 to cover them over, after previously proposing to destroy them has been met with a torrent of opposition in San Francisco and around the world.

At the very same time, Matthews and the school board were proposing to cut $300,000 to the Martin Luther King MLK Middle School budget.

The school in South East San Francisco has a large proportion of African American and other minority students. At the last school board meetings, dozens of students, parents, and teachers strongly spoke out against these attacks that would destroy their school and continue the long history of racist attacks on the staff and students at the school.

While San Francisco has one of the highest numbers of billionaires in the world, the school board and superintendent have continued the attack on minority and working-class public school students, teachers, and staff including with the PAR program.

This forum will look at the history of murals and the continuing privatization of education and the crisis in the school district.

Sponsored by
United Public Workers For Action, (415) 533-5642

SFUSD Board & Superintendent Matthews Cutting $300,000 From MLK Middle School While Spending $850,000 To Censor GWHS Arnautoff Murals

The San Francisco Unified School District Board and superintendent Vincent Matthews are seeking to cut $300,000 from the large minority and poor student population of Martin Luther King Middle School.

This is not the first attack on this school. In March, the MLK school had to make additional cuts and in 2012 the principal at that time gave away the band instruments and the music and art classes were shut down while the STEM program was instituted.

The principal Natalie Eberhard with the backing of the district also bullied and removed 17 teachers and staff of the school and engaged in a criminal cover-up of the principal trying to improperly restrain an African American special education student.

The security aid who was also a UESF member and union activist was injured as a result of the principal's action. The district management covered it up and went after a security aid Toby Caine who was a whistleblower and union activist.

This action today by Superintendent Vincent Matthews and his rubber stamp board is also taking place one month after the board on 8/13/18 voted to spend $850,000 to cover-up and censor the George Washington High Victor Arnautoff murals.

The UESF leadership were also silent during the testimony by the teachers, students and parents at the meeting to stop the $300,000 in proposed cuts.

Vincent Matthews was previously a Brown appointed trustee of the Oakland Unified School District and during this period he shut down Black and Latino schools while pushing more privatization, charters, and consultants.

Additional media:

Stop retaliation, racism, and bullying by the principal of Martin Luther King Middle School

SF Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle School Administration Accused Of Violence, Bullying

SF Martin Luther King UESF School Teachers & Parents Protest Reign Of Bullying And Violence

Stop The Bullying/Retaliation At SF MLK School By Principal & Carranza Criminal Cover-up

SF MLK Middle School Teachers/Staff Call For DA Gascón To Investigate & Prosecute Physical Abuse

Censorship, Not Destruction? SFUSD Votes To Censor Arnautoff Murals

"Paint It Down" Rightists Disrupt Victor Arnautoff Mural Meeting In San Francisco

Destroying Arnautoff Murals As Payment For "Reparations"? SFUSD Bd Votes To Paint Over Historic Murals

SF Debates Removal Of Victor Arnautoff Murals At GWH

"Erasing History" SF Washington High & The Victor Arnautoff Murals

Victor Arnautoff: San Francisco's Master Muralist of the 1930s

When conservatives went to war over SF post office murals

These High School Murals Depict an Ugly History. Should They Go?

Murals at Washington High School Stoke Debate: Board to Decide Their Fate

Murals at Washington High School Stoke Debate: Board to Decide Their Fate

Production of Labor Video Project

SF SMART 1741 Bus Drivers Protest Attacks On Bus Safety, Union Busting & ZUM Outsourcing At SFUSD
San Francisco school bus drivers who are members of SMART 1741 attended the San Francisco Unified School District board meeting on August 13, 2019, to protest the attack on health and safety and by outsourcing and contracting out proposals including ZUM which is similar to UBER for special education students.
Additional media:
First Student UTU 1741 SF School Bus Drivers Protest Union Busting

Production of Labor Video Project
Added to the calendar on Fri, Sep 27, 2019 5:50PM
Students at MLK spoke up against a $300,000 budget cut at their school and how it would severely threaten their school and education.
The George Washington Arnautoff murals show the real history of George Washington and they are national treasures yet the SF Board of Education and the superintendent Vincent Matthews voted to spend $850,000 to destroy them.
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