San Dieguito director who said Asian students succeed because they are wealthy Chinese is fired

A California high school superintendent was fired Sunday, two and a half months after she made controversial comments linking Asian students’ academic performance to the wealth of their immigrant families.

The San Diego Union High School Board unanimously voted to fire Chief Inspector Cheryl James-Ward, who made divisive remarks during a board training session on diversity, equity and inclusion in April.

Michael Allman, a trustee of the board of directors, was… citing data which found that Asian students achieve fewer D and F grades than other ethnic or racial groups in the district when he asked James-Ward, “Do we know why Asian students do so well in school?”

James-Ward, the district’s first black superintendent, replied that this is because the students come from wealthy families in China.

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“We have an influx of Asians from China and the people who can make that journey are rich,” James-Ward said. “You can’t come to America and buy a house for $2 million unless you have money.”

A board member argued that cultural issues rather than wealth may be a more important reason for the success of Asian-Americans. However, James-Ward doubles down on her argument.

“We look at where our children live,” she said. “In my community, Carmel Valley, I don’t have that much today, but until a few years ago we had a big influx of Chinese families moving into our homes unseen, into the community, and that requires money.”

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The Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, which has Chinese-American leaders, said in a statement that its comments are “deeply offensive, grossly inaccurate, and deliberately divisive, inconsistent with its leadership role in a major school district.”

A group of Asian parents told board members at a meeting in April that they were “hurt” by James-Ward’s comments. Many of them demanded her resignation, while others demanded that she be fired.

At the very least, after the backlash, James-Ward issued: two apologiesone of which was made before the public comment portion of the April board meeting.

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“I understand why my comments caused so much pain,” she said before the meeting.

James Ward was fired for no reasoneffective August 15, meaning she’s entitled to an annual salary — or $288,000 — as a lump sum.

Commenting on the decision, James-Ward said the resignation was in retaliation for the gender discrimination complaint she made against one of the school administrators earlier this year. Her lawyer repeated the official’s statement previous plan to sue the school district.

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Featured image via CBS 8 San Diego

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