Lawsuit filed for Serra High’s name change to Canyon Hills High School – NBC 7 San Diego

A lawsuit filed on Wednesday seeks to overturn the recent name change of what is now Canyon Hills High School to Tierrasanta and restore its old name: Junipero Serra High School.

“A principal and a school board in San Diego circumvented the law in their rush to erase the history of California and the legacy of a Catholic saint,” said Tom Ciesielka, spokesperson for the Thomas More Society, the group that filed the complaint.

Father Junipero Serra was an 18th-century Catholic priest widely credited with establishing the first missions in what is now California.

The name change has divided those who see it as an attack on history and those who believe that Serra and the Conquistadors mascot are reminders of mistreatment of Indigenous peoples when missions were established on North American territory. from Spain.

In the summer of 2020, Serra statues were taken down in many places across the state by people for similar reasons.

“It’s all very much about the oppression, the forced slavery and the forced religion that they have on Native Americans,” said Jason Howard, parent of Canyon Hills High.

The change makes sense to Howard, but not everyone agrees.

“It doesn’t make sense to me, so I really oppose it,” said Michael Bonot, a 1980 Junipero Serra high school graduate.

Canyon Hills High manager Erica Renfree said she is consulting with Native American groups regarding the name change.

“We have partnered with tribal communities and they agree. They’re super excited and it’s a really proud moment, ”Renfree said.

The Thomas More Society says the vote that triggered the name change violated Brown’s Law, a law that requires sufficient notice to the public before school board meetings.

Canyon Hills is moving forward with the name change for the start of the next school year, although the process may be halted by the impending litigation.

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