Written by Will Hekman
A group has sued San Diego Unified School District claiming the renaming of Junipero Serra High School was unlawful after the School Board voted unanimously to change the name. The board voted to change the name after a petition was brought forth by students who claim Serra’s treatment of natives during the Spanish settlement of California warrants a name change in today’s world.
The suit was filed after the plaintiffs claimed that the community should have more input on the matter, and hope to stop the process from being completed, “This is another example of the ‘cancel culture’ mentality that radical leftist people in education are trying to force on an unwilling American public,” attorney Charles LiMandri said to the San Diego Union-Tribune.”Father Serra was a great defender of the indigenous people of California, and he deserves our best efforts to defend his legacy.”
A well-known and celebrated individual in the Catholic Church, Father Serra’s legacy has come under scrutiny by left-wing and anti-racism groups for his supposed unfair treatment of Native Americans. Serra is known for being the founder of the California Mission System which stretches from San Diego to San Francisco. He was canonized in 2015 by Pope Francis.
The lawsuit claims that the school board violated the Brown Act which requires public notice of a vote along with California and Federal Due Process and Establishment Clauses. “They held a virtual hearing to vote to change the name,” said Paul Joanna who is representing the plaintiff. “No one from the community knew about this hearing. The hearing took place basically in secret.”
Chuck Cox, the chairman of the Preserve Serra High Committee said that the residents of Terrisanta had no idea the meetings were taking place. Principal Erica Renfree said that parents were notified about the meeting and the district claims it held virtual public town halls and engaged community members on social media regarding the name change.
The renaming of Serra High School has been one of the many casualties of cancel culture and an attempt to rename many places in the name of “social justice”. Both LiMandri and Joanna have said that the renaming of the school shows hatred towards Christianity and religion in general.