The Volokh Conspiracy

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"Judge Overturns SF School Board Decision To Cover Up Controversial Mural"

The rationale: The Board violated the California Environmental Quality Act, which requires Environmental Impact Reports before actions that affect the environment or objects of historical significance.


CBS San Francisco reports:

A Superior Court judge ruled Monday to overturn the San Francisco Unified School District's decision to remove a controversial mural from a local high school.

Judge Anne-Christine Massullo sided with the alumni association of George Washington High School, who sued the SFUSD's Board of Directors back in 2019 over its decision to cover up the 1936 mural by Victor Arnautoff, titled "Life of Washington."

The massive mural drew controversy for its depictions of native Americans and slaves, and students at the school petitioned the board to remove it.

The George Washington High School Alumni Association sued the board over its failure to conduct an environmental review for removing the mural, despite it being required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)….

"The Board and SFUSD failed in their primary duty to follow the requirements of the law," Massullo wrote in her decision. "California, as a matter of long-standing public policy, places enormous value on its environmental and historical resources and the People are entitled to expect public officials to give more than lip-service to the laws designed to protect those resources."

You can read the opinion here.