Home>Articles>Calif. for Equal Rights Foundation: San Dieguito School Superintendent ‘Smearing Asian-American Students’

San Dieguito School Dist board meeting, April 11, 2022. (Photo: screen capture sduhsd.net)

Calif. for Equal Rights Foundation: San Dieguito School Superintendent ‘Smearing Asian-American Students’

‘The problem here is not race and ethnicity; it is culture’

By Katy Grimes, April 26, 2022 11:08 am

Californians for Equal Rights Foundation last week called for the San Dieguito Union High School District Board to abstain from dividing students and employees on the basis of race, following a highly contentious incident at the board’s most recent Diversity Equity Inclusion training workshop, hosted by the board on April 11, 2022.

The Globe spoke with Dr. Wenyaun Wu, Executive Director of Californians for Equal Rights Foundation who said they firmly “oppose the inflammatory and untruthful narrative promoted by San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) Superintendent Dr. Cheryl James-Ward and biased media reporting.”

The Californians for Equal Rights Foundation says its objective is to “Defend Merit and Advance Equality,” and “Promote civic engagement.”

Dr. Cheryl James-Ward
Superintendent, San Dieguito School Dist. (Photo: sduhsd.net)

On April 12, 2022, CFER issued an Action Alert after the San Dieguito Union High School District hosted the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training program, in which the new superintendent Dr. Cheryl James-Ward gave some blatant remarks smearing the district’s Asian-American students, according to Dr. Wu.

Dr. Wu said during the training session, Dr. Ward attempted to answer a question on Asian-Americans students’ high performance in the school district saying these students do well because they come from wealthy, first-generation Chinese-American families. She argued: “people who’re able to make the journey to America are wealthy.”

Wu said Asian-American students from low-income families perform better in school than other low-income students. “The problem here is not race and ethnicity,” Wu said. “It is culture. They are the playbook for the woke.”

Wu also said Dr. Ward is unwilling to acknowledge what is best for the students in her district.

Dr. Ward then dug in her heels Dr. Wu said, “and recounted the phenomenon of more immigrants settling down in the district saying, ‘a large influx of Chinese families move in, sight unseen, into our homes, our community… the whole family comes, grandparents and parents and the grandparents are there to support kids at home.’ (at 1:22:38 on video) She then contrasted the wealth gap with over-simplifying stereotypes: ‘whereas, our Latinx families don’t have that type of money, parents are working two jobs from sunup to sundown.’”

Another board member disagreed with Dr. Ward during the Zoom Board Meeting, and said she has asked the question as well about Asian-American student achievement and found that Asian-American students have parents and grandparents living with them, making them more family focused, which is powerful and supportive of the students.

Wenyuan Wu, Ph.D. Californians for Equal Rights Foundation. (Photo: CERF.org)

Dr. Wu said following Dr. Ward’s initial remarks stereotyping Asian students and her continued refusals to take responsibility, claiming her comments were “taken out of context,” Dr. Ward then shifted the blame onto CFER, “accusing us of putting ‘a complete hit’ on her and ‘public(ly) lynching’ her.'”

“Dr. Ward’s reactions expose her inability to escape the ideological trappings of race-based politics and the mainstream media’s unhealthy obsession with race,” Dr. Wu said.

Dr. Wu said Dr. Ward issued two sort-of-apologies. “She said ‘oops, I’m sorry if I offended anyone, but we need to do more DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion).”

Dr. Wu expressed her frustration with local NBC7 who she said merely repeated what Dr. Ward told them: that the people showing up to the school board meetings are not district parents and were sent there by CFER to protest. “We did not tell them what to do,” Dr. Wu said. “We have no agenda. DEI is an agenda smearing the parents movement as a conspiracy.”

“We’re not some sort of secret cabal opposing a black woman Superintendent,” Dr. Wu said. “She’s on defense, and unwilling/unable to escape her own preconceived notions of seeing people and things through the prism of race.”

The school board voted 3-1 to place Dr. Cheryl James-Ward on administrative leave. But Dr. Ward said it was in retaliation. “Nothing that I said should have me here today,” Dr. Ward told NBC7. “I apologized to my community because if I caused harm, I need to apologize. And I apologized.”

Parents in the school district are outraged by Dr. Ward’s comments.

Dr. Wenyuan Wu said there is a new petition at Change.org calling for Dr. Cheryl James-Ward’s resignation, which already had 1,400 signatures as of Monday, and is up to 1,947 signatures Tuesday.

“We’re seeing a lot of support across the state,” Dr. Wu said. “We are on the right side. The problem is local media supporters who don’t do their homework. I told them ‘all you need to do is call me to verify. We are only focused on what she (Dr. Ward) said as the public school Superintendent.'”

Dr. Wu added, “We don’t accept the unacceptable.”

These are screen shots of the San Dieguito Union High School District Board Diversity Equity Inclusion training workshop:

Diversity Equity Inclusion training workshop, San Dieguito School Dist board. (screen capture sduhsd.net)
Diversity Equity Inclusion training workshop, San Dieguito School Dist board. (screen capture sduhsd.net)
Diversity Equity Inclusion training workshop, San Dieguito School Dist board. (screen capture sduhsd.net)
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6 thoughts on “Calif. for Equal Rights Foundation: San Dieguito School Superintendent ‘Smearing Asian-American Students’

  1. Two of my dearest friends are immigrants from Taiwan who came to the U.S. some 35 years ago. Do you think they left their home and all that was familiar to them in hopes of a brighter future, became American citizens, worked hard to support themselves and their children, made sure their children were well-educated, contributed to this once-free country in innumerable ways, so that they would be subjected to the angry, know-nothing destroyers who call themselves “educators” in our public school system? Uh, NO, they did NOT.

    The first time I heard the term “equity” used as described in this article was many years ago in a school board meeting. Wow, almost 20 years ago now.(!) Resentful killjoy Marxist activists and a couple of the leftist board members objected to mothers holding bake sales to raise a few extra bucks for school supplies and maybe a field trip for students in what happened to be the highest-performing school in the district. The Marxist complainers said that because not EVERY parent was willing or able to contribute the time and energy to such enterprises that it should not be allowed for any school because it was not “equitable;” that the targeted school and these parents were “privileged” and thus the activity was “unfair.” Equity is just a fancy word (that sounds good) for making sure that everyone is as miserable and hopeless as the MOST miserable and hopeless person in the group, whatever the group. As you know.

  2. Generally speaking, I would say that Asian parents tend to place a premium on education regardless of their generation; but especially first or second generation immigrants. It is part of the culture; so, I agree with Dr. Wu. My parents were not rich and worked hard their whole lives to achieve their number one goal – to put ALL of their children through college. He in the military, civil service and she as a housewife, maid, seamstress, salesperson. They succeeded in their goal for their 4 children. They could have been more comfortable themselves but made the sacrifice; made do with less, so that their children could have MORE than they did.

  3. Dr. Wu’s review of the facts is misleading, biased and hyperbolic. Instead of calling Mr. Allman’s question racist and guilty of stereotypes, she focuses on Dr. Ward’s answer. Instead of engaging in honest discussion, she uses her right-leaning group to misquote and attack. If neoliberal republicans asserting their hidden agendas were capable of shame, I would hold you accountable. But the right knows no shame while engaging in shameful acts.

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