Skip to main content

Haight Renaming Committee

Renaming Process

AUSD's Administrative Regulation 7310 details the process by which district schools can be renamed.


Under the terms of the AR:


1) A petition requesting a new name must be presented to the principal.


2) The principal convenes a committee.


3) The committee does research on a proposed name.


4) The committee conducts a survey of the school community.

The survey provides the choice between a new name and keeping the current name.


5) If the majority of respondents favor the proposed change, the committee submits the name to the Superintendent.


6) If the Superintendent approves the name, s/he forwards it to the Board of Education.


7) The Board announces the proposed change.


8) The Board takes comments from the community for 90 days.


9) The Board votes on the change.


In December 2017, the public learned that Henry Huntly Haight, after whom Haight Elementary School is named, held racist views.


Haight, who was governor of California from 1867 to 1871:


  • Opposed Congress's Reconstruction plan after the Civil War, saying the policy deprived southerners of their constitutional rights and would put white Americans "under the heel of negroes."


  • Spoke against allowing African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians to vote, claiming suffrage would "end in the degradation of the white race and the speedy destruction of government."


  • Resisted  allowing various races to live together in America, saying "… it is not the dictate of … sound policy, to locate together in one community races so radically dissimilar in physical, mental, and moral constitution, as the Caucasian and African, or Mongolian. The attempt to mix these races is in contravention of natural laws.”

Haight also referred to Native Americans as “degraded digger Indians,” claimed Chinese were “a servile, effeminate and inferior race," and claimed emancipated slaves shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they were “ as ignorant of political duties as beasts of the field."


In response to the information, more than 100 parents signed a petition asking for a new name for the school. In response, the principal convened a "Renaming Committee" in the spring of 2018.  


Through the spring and summer, the committee met several times to brainstorm ideas for engaging Haight families, students, staff, alumni, and neighbors in the renaming process. Through September and October, committee members will be reaching out to stakeholders to talk to them about best ways to get involved.

Name Criteria

Under AUSD policy, a school can be renamed for:


  • Individuals, living or deceased, who have made contributions to the community, county, state, nation or world

  • The geographic area in which the school or building is located

  • Curricular concentration or concepts or approaches to education

Based on these parameters, the renaming committee members decided the school should be named after someone who embodies the following values:


  • Diversity

  • Inclusivity

  • Community leader

  • Involved in education

  • Local connection and/or impact

  • Devoted to civil rights/social justice/equity

How to Get Involved

Community members can:


Meeting Materials

July 9, 2018

June 4, 2018

May 14, 2018

Board Presentations

More Resources

Rename Haight (website)

Legacy Plans

If the school is renamed, the committee feels strongly that it does not want to erase the history and legacy of “Haight Elementary School.” Instead, the committee plans to solicit and display memories and photos of the school, as well as put up plaques with a history of the school, including why it was renamed.


When that process begins, committee members will reach out to the community for suggestions and materials.