SF school board admonishes Commissioner Ann Hsu over ‘downright wrong and racist’ comments

Members of the San Francisco school board voted unanimously to reprimand Commissioner Ann Hsu for her controversial comments about equitable education.

Last month, Hsu was criticized for her answers to a questionnaire from the Parent SF Action.

Respond to a question about educating marginalized studentsHsu wrote that the biggest challenges for black and brown students are “unstable family environments” and a “lack of encouragement from parents to focus on learning.” According to Hsu, such circumstances force teachers to work harder in a way that “is not fair to the teachers.”

Lawyers and organizations, including the civil rights group National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), have condemned her comments and demanded her resignation.

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After the growing comment, Hsu updated her answers and posted an apology on Twitter on July 20.

“I was trying to understand and address a serious problem and find solutions, saying things that perpetuated bias in the system,” she wrote. “My statements reflected my own limited experiences and inherent prejudices. I made a mistake and I am very sorry.”

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton too spoke out against Hsucalled her comments “downright wrong and racist.”

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“Yeah sure, thanks for the apology, but in the end this probably reflects how someone really feels,” Walton said. “It’s disheartening that someone like that can make decisions for our children.”

On Tuesday, the school board held a special meeting to address the matter, which resulted in the vote to officially admonish Hsu.

The commissioner, who voted for her own admonition, apologized for her statements.

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“I said things that perpetuated harmful stereotypes,” Hsu said. “I made a mistake and I’m very sorry.”

However, she added that she would not resign, noting that she still plans to run in the upcoming school board elections.

Prior to the meeting, Hsu’s critics kept out demonstrations, with NAACP’s Rev. Arnold Townsend and other advocates called for her resignation.

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Despite the controversy, Hsu has gained supporters citing freedom of speech and shouting “cancel culture.”

The Chinese Parent Advisory Council, the Chinese American Democratic Club and AsianAmericanVoters.org have included: more than 300 signatories of an open letter in support of Hsu.

According to her supporters, they believe that Hsu should not resign and that the matter should be a “teaching moment” for her.

Featured image via NBC Bay Area

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