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California School Bans ‘Chief’ Titles for Fear of Offending Native Americans

San Francisco, El American

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The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) will eliminate the use of the word “chief” from job titles to avoid “potentially offensive” connotations against Native Americans, according to reports.

An SFUSD spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle that while they have not determined a term to replace the word “chief,” about 10,000 district employees are holding conversations and discussing a wide variety of options.

“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,” district spokesperson Gentle Blythe told the Chronicle.

Currently, the San Francisco school district has 13 people whose positions have the word “chief” in the title, according to the official SFUSD website, including a division of chiefs. The positions include: chief technology officer, chief of staff, chief human resources officer, chief of labor relations.

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Blythe clarified that the change in their job titles does not mean the termination of their contracts.

“By changing how we refer to our division heads we are in no way diminishing the indispensable contributions of our district central service leaders,” the spokesperson explained.