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San Francisco alumni group sues over divisive school mural

Activists said the "Life of Washington" mural at George Washington High was offensive for its depiction of Native Americans and African Americans.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2019, file photo, people fill the main entryway of George Washington High School to view the controversial 13-panel, 1,600-square foot mural, the "Life of Washington," during an open house for the public in San Francisco. San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education President Stevon Cook says he plans to introduce a solution at the school board meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, to cover the "Life of Washington" mural without destroying it. Cook says he will propose covering the mural with panels that contain artwork that shows "the heroism of people of color in America, how we have fought against, and continue to battle discrimination, racism, hatred, and poverty." (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — An alumni group has sued to challenge the San Francisco school board's decision to cover a controversial mural displayed in a public high school that some criticized as racist.

The San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education in August voted 4-3 to place panels over the "Life of Washington" mural.

The artwork was created in 1936 and depicts the life of George Washington. It shows slaves working at Washington's estate and pioneers standing over the dead body of a Native American. Activists said the mural at George Washington High was offensive for its depiction of Native Americans and African Americans.

RELATED: San Francisco to keep but cover up divisive mural

KPIX-TV reports the school's alumni association filed a lawsuit Friday asking that the board rescind its vote to remove the mural from public view and conduct an environmental review. The board didn't immediately respond to the filing.

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