The superintendent of the San Dieguito Union High School District near San Diego is apologizing following a discussion on high achieving Asian students, reported News 10.
The comments came to light after someone posted them anonymously on YouTube.
During a discussion on students getting d and f’s, board trustee Michael Allman asked “Do we know why Asian students do so well in school?”
“So here in San Dieguito we have an influx of Asians from China, the people who are able to make that are wealthy, you cannot come to America and buy a house for 2 million dollars unless you have money, school chief Cheryl James-Ward said.
She compared that to parents with less money and working two jobs in the Latino community.
Her comments received backlash for perpetuating the model minority myth.
“Dr. Ward’s comments were deeply offensive, grossly inaccurate, and intentionally divisive, which ill-fits her leadership role in a major school district,” the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, whose leaders are Chinese American, said in a statement sent to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The controversy, according to the Tribune, highlighted a conservative-liberal split on the school board with Allman on the conservative side and Ward considered liberal.
“To say because we’re wealthy, that’s why we do well, there’s sacrifices that are made, there are hardships. Being an immigrant, coming into the U.S. and automatically you’re successful, it’s just not true,” said JoAnn Fields, the Government and Public relations director of the Asian Pacific Islander Initiative to News 10.
Ward said the video clip took her comments out of context.
“Nevertheless, I should have slowed down when making the comments which did not provide the true complexities of student success and challenges, stereotyped a community, and caused harm. I apologize for the harm caused to any of our students, parents, and members of our community,” she said.
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That is so wrong. While there are a few wealthy Asians who stick out, most Asian immigrants are struggling to make ends meets and yet their kids are still motivated to do well in school. More culture and family expectations than money are the main factors. These are things worth looking into. Most of us had to work hard at school and put in long hours working at crappy jobs as teens too which instilled both a work ethic and a desire for a better life.