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Parents, students voice outrage over San Dieguito Union High School District superintendent's comments

Posted at 7:09 AM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 10:09:39-04

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) -- Some parents are calling for the resignation of San Dieguito Union High School District’s superintendent after her controversial comments at a recent meeting.

At a SDUHSD board meeting Wednesday evening, many members of the community voiced their outrage and concerns about Dr. Cheryl James-Ward’s remarks.

"Here board members, I want to ask for special board meeting to discuss the resignation to discuss of Dr. Ward,” a San Dieguito Union High School District Parent said during the public comment part of the meeting.

RELATED: SDUHSD superintendent apologizes for comments about Asian students

The superintendent has faced criticism since her statements at an April 11 meeting that focused on “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” training.

In that meeting, James-Ward said of Asian students, in part: “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 unless you have money … We had a large influx of Chinese families moving in, sight unseen, into our homes, into the community, and that requires money; the whole family comes -- grandparents, parents, and the grandparents are there to support the kids at home … Whereas in some of our Latinx communities, they don't have that type of money, parents are working two jobs. They’re working from sun up to sundown."

One district student said during the public comment period, "This is not to be ignored, Dr. Ward, that your comment has torn my community apart and worse has pit people of color against each other.”

"While it could be attributed to a multitude of factors, I believe that the academic success of Chinese-Americans is built upon our social and cultural prioritization on education,” another parent said.

James-Ward apologized, but those at the meeting said it's not enough.

"Dr. Ward, I would accept your apology as a neighbor and a person but, not as a superintendent,” one parent said.

"Shift the focus of our district to our kids, not you. Let's move froward. You should resign,” another parent said.

While the responses from community members were made during the public comment portion and not an action item, the SDUHSD board of trustees president said they hope to move forward in a positive manner.