School district 'mandates' staff vaccinations / Fnnch partners with William Sonoma

It's Tuesday, August 10.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

On Tuesday, in what the Chronicle’s education reporter described as a “surprise announcement,” the San Francisco Unified School District said it will require that teachers and staff be vaccinated by September 7, while those unvaccinated by that date must be tested for Covid every week. 

News of the mandate was a change in tone from last week when superintendent Vincent Matthews said staff members were “encouraged” to get vaccinated and that the district was polling its workers to understand how many had received their shots. 

“Given that we are in the midst of rising cases and new variants in our community, a vaccine requirement is a necessary step to keeping our students, staff and families safe,” Matthews said in a statement today. 

Tuesday’s announcement should come as a relief to some parents, who worry about the health risks of sending their kids back to school next week. Yesterday, before news of the requirement, one concerned parent told the Chronicle: “I’d rather have my kids be stupid, without an education, rather than die. That represents what many, many parents are saying.”

Still, it’s still TBD how much of a mandate this really represents, given that the district has left the option open for those unvaccinated to take a weekly test instead. I asked an SFUSD spokesperson how long the testing option would be available and whether the district would potentially fire staff members who refuse to receive the vaccine, similar to the city’s policy for its employees. But I have yet to hear back. 

And with that… onto some more news… 

Quick bits: 

  • 📝 Almost 200 San Francisco employees have sent identical letters to the city’s human resource department since June, suggesting that a vaccine mandate violates their “God-given and constitutionally secured” rights. The Chronicle reports that 103 of the 192 letters have come from Fire Department staff members. (Chronicle

  • ⚾️ On Monday, Twitter permanently suspended the account of former San Francisco Giants slugger Aubrey Huff for "repeated violations of [the company’s] COVID-19 misleading information policy,” the SFGate reported. Upon news of the suspension, Huff took to his Instagram account, saying: “I consider this a badge of honor!” (SFGate)

  • 🔎 Here/Say Media recently released an “interactive burglary map” that compares break-in numbers during the Covid (March 16, 2020 to June 1, 2021) to an “equal time period before COVID” (Jan 1, 2019 to March 15, 2020). As Here/Say contributor Anna Tong writes: 

    “Some citizens strongly believe that San Francisco has devolved into a ‘lawless city,’ while others say such claims are overblown and crime is actually at a historic low… [Our map] shows that burglary spikes during the pandemic varied dramatically by location, suggesting that different neighborhoods are having vastly different experiences with crime.” 

And finally… 

Famed SF street artist Fnnch, who has been the subject of criticism in recent months, now has an exclusive line of honey bear aprons, cereal bowls, spatulas, and more with William Sonoma. 

In a video promoting the new line, Fnnch said the partnership with William Sonoma came about after he spray-painted a honey bear with a chef’s hat outside the company’s Marina District store, which had been boarded up during the pandemic. 

"I don't feel pretentious about my art or protective in that it has to be in a white-wall gallery setting and it's got to be viewed in a specific way,” fnnch said. “I'm excited for people to bring it into their home and for people to eat food off of it and to eat cereal out of the bowls and to wear the aprons as they cook."

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all. And I appreciate all the feedback so far regarding how the SF Minute should run while I’m on paternity leave next month. It’s been really helpful, so please, keep the ideas coming. Feel free to reply here or email me,

See you back here tomorrow! - Nick B. 

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