The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has deemed acronyms a “symptom of white supremacy culture.” In response, its performing arts department will dump the acronym “VAPA” in favor of the name “SFUSD Arts Department.” According to the director of the department, “The use of so many acronyms within the educational field often tends to alienate those who may not speak English to understand the acronym.”
The SFUSD Arts Department is changing its name from “VAPA” — an acronym for visual and performing arts — because they say that “acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture,” according to a report by ABC 7 News.
“We are prioritizing antiracist arts instruction in our work,” said the director of the Art Department.
Therefore, the department will dump the acronym VAPA and adopt the name SFUSD Arts Department.
“It is a very simple step we can take to just be referred to as the SFUSD Arts Department for families to better understand who we are,” said Sam Bass, Director of the SFUSD Arts Department.
In a letter, Bass explains why they believe acronyms are a “symptom of white supremacy culture.”
“The use of so many acronyms within the educational field often tends to alienate those who may not speak English to understand the acronym,” he said.
The department’s findings are based on a 1999 paper by author Tema Okun, entitled, “White Supremacy Culture.” Okun told ABC 7 News that “our culture perpetuates racism when things continue to be written down in a certain way.”
The report added that when the outlet asked for San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s opinion on the matter, she was confused, and thought she was being asked about another incident in which the San Francisco Board of Education decided to rename scores of the city’s schools.
“We definitely need to have a robust conversation about what we need to do but not a rushed conversation,” said Mayor Breed.
Last week, the San Francisco Board of Education voted to rename 44 of the city’s schools, claiming that prominent figures from American history, such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Paul Revere, were tied to racist incidents.
The committee based its decisions on Wikipedia and other wildly inaccurate information to source its claims.