San Francisco's first public school for Chinese immigrants, known first as the Chinese School and then as the Oriental School, began operating in 1859. The school was designed to segregate (separate) Chinese children from white children in the city's public schools. In 1924, after years of protest by Chinese residents who found the name "Oriental School" offensive, it was renamed the Commodore Stockton School. The first excerpt is from an oral history interview with Thomas Chinn, who attended the school; the second is from an 1896 issue of the San Francisco magazine The Wave, which comments more generally on Chinatown's children.
Source | Ruth Teiser/Thomas W. Chinn, "A Historian's Reflections on Chinese-American Life in San Francisco,
1919-1991: Oral History transcript/Thomas Chinn" Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University
of California, Berkeley, 1993, from Calisphere,
http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=hb5779n97v&query=&brand=calisphere. "Child Life in Chinatown: The
Wiles and Ways of the Youthful Celestials," The Wave v. 15, Jan. - Dec. 1896; from Library of Congress, The
Chinese in California, 1850-1925, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award99/cubhtml/cichome.html Rights | Used by permission of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Item Type | Oral History Cite This document | “A Chinese American Describes Going to School in Chinatown (with text supports),” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed October 25, 2014, http://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1937.