SF Officials Call for School Board Member’s Resignation Over ‘Racist’ Statement

July 21, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—San Francisco school board officials are calling for the resignation of school board member Ann Hsu following her comments that “perpetuate harmful stereotypes on Black and Brown students and their families.”

The controversy started when Hsu’s responses to a San Francisco Parent Action Coalition questionnaire were shared over the weekend. She implied in one of her responses that “marginalized students especially in the Black and brown community” are not fully supported by their families, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“From my very limited exposure in the past four months to the challenges of educating marginalized students, especially in the Black and brown community, I see one of the biggest challenges as being the lack of family support for those students,” Hsu wrote.

“Unstable family environments caused by housing and food insecurity along with lack of parental encouragement to focus on learning cause children to not be able to focus on or value learning,” Hsu continued. “That makes teachers’ work harder because they have to take care of emotional and behavioral issues of students before they can teach them. That is not fair to the teachers.”

Hsu was one of three school board members sworn in by Mayor London Breed to replace the recalled members following a recall in February.

If Hsu’s comments are truly off the mark and “racist” why did the San Francisco School Board implement a lottery-based admissions policy for Lowell High School because not enough African-American and Latino students were able to pass the merit-based admissions?

Lowell High School Demographics. Screenshot via SchoolDigger

Either the students’ support system at home failed or they didn’t study hard enough or maybe a combination of both? If African-American and Latino students are equal to Asian students, why do they need a lottery-based admissions policy to “even the playing field”? Why can’t they just pass the admissions test like everyone else?

Making the situation even more embarrassing, the SF School Board reimplemented the merit-based admissions policies at Lowell in a 4-3 vote back in mid-June because the elite high school saw a record number of failing grades from its lottery students.

Hsu eventually apologized for her comments on Twitter on Tuesday:

“My statements reflected my own limited experiences and inherent biases. I made a mistake, and I am deeply sorry,” she wrote. “I am committed to listening, learning and growing as a person. I’ve heard valuable feedback from BIPOC families and will be prioritizing and centering their voices in my work on the BOE through listening sessions and community outreach as we move forward.”

New school board member Lisa Weissman-Ward said Hsu’s statements were “upsetting, harmful and disappointing.”

“Her answers perpetuated and reflected biases and caused harm to Black and brown students and their families and also to me personally — as a half-Black woman,” Weissman-Ward wrote.

Do you know what’s even more harmful? Lowering the standards of education for Black and brown students and then claiming those students are equal to students who didn’t need the bar lowered and then calling Asian parents “racist” for pointing out the fallacy of that way of thinking.

Mayor London Breed also chimed in on Hsu’s statements as well, stating, “There’s a difference between recognizing systemic inequality and perpetuating harmful stereotypes. But it’s important that she apologized and committed to working with members of the community to understand and learn. She needs to follow through on that and really listen and reflect, especially as someone who represents all children in our school district.”

Feature Screenshot via YouTube

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