San Francisco public schools drop ‘chief’ from job titles so as not to offend Native Americans

Public schools in San Francisco are dropping the word “chief” from job titles because of the word’s connotation with Native Americans, school officials said. 

No longer will division chiefs be referred to as “chiefs” in the San Francisco Unified School District after a Wednesday decision to retire the term, spokesperson Gentle Blythe told the San Francisco Chronicle. The decision will apply to all of the school district’s 10,000 employees. 

“While there are many opinions on the matter, our leadership team agreed that, given that Native American members of our community have expressed concerns over the use of the title, we are no longer going to use it,” Blythe said.

The school district will need to come up with a new word to replace job titles like “chief technology officer” or “chief of staff.” There are at least thirteen positions in the district that will be renamed. Blythe emphasized to the Chronicle that new job titles will not reflect a demotion for anyone.

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