SF officials call on Ann Hsu to resign over racial slurs

Several senior San Francisco officials are calling for the resignation of Ann Hsu, a member of the San Francisco Board of Education who recently made racist comments in a candidate questionnaire form for a political group she was hoping to gain endorsement of before the election of November.

Hsu, who is running to stay in her seat this year alongside the other two Breed School Board members, filled out a candidate questionnaire for SF Parent Action in which she made comments that reinforced racist stereotypes about families black and brown. Hsu responded to a question about what schools in San Francisco can do to improve outcomes for marginalized students by saying that a “lack of family support” among these students is a big challenge for educators.

“From my very limited exposure over the past four months to the challenges of educating marginalized students, particularly in the black and brown community, I consider one of the biggest challenges to be the lack of family support for these students. “, she wrote. “Unstable home environments caused by housing and food insecurity as well as lack of parental encouragement to focus on learning prevent children from focusing on or valuing learning.”

Hsu apologized for Tuesday’s remarks, saying she is “committed to listening, learning and growing as a person”. Despite his apology, calls for his resignation from other San Francisco officials began pouring in Thursday. Walton, who represents District 10 and is the chairman of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was the first to demand Hsu’s resignation.

“San Francisco Board of Education member Ann Hsu recently made racist statements about black and brown students saying their parents don’t encourage their children to focus on learning or value it “, he said in a statement. “It is downright wrong and racist to perpetuate harmful stereotypes about black and brown students and their families who have been disenfranchised by systemic racism during
decades. … These statements reflect what a person really feels and it is obvious that anyone holding these beliefs should not
be responsible for making decisions for our children.”

Chan – who represents District 1 – agreed with Walton, saying in a statement on Thursday that Hsu’s words “perpetuate racist stereotypes and further divide communities of color”.

“I thank Commissioner Hsu for her service and respectfully request that she step down from her position on the school board so that we can get back on track to ensure that all students and their families receive quality and equitable education. they deserve,” she said.

Preston, who represents District 5, joined Watson and Chan early Friday.

“[Hsu’s] written comments suggesting that black and brown parents do not value learning show prejudice, ignorance and a lack of ability to serve the families and students who depend on our public schools,” he said on Twitter. “I join my colleagues … in urging appointee Ann Hsu to resign from the school board. I further urge her to drop out of the school board race in this election cycle.”

Speaking to Chinese-language media about the incident, Breed called Hsu’s comments “disappointing” and “hurtful,” but did not call for his resignation. She said she appreciated Hsu’s apology and said the backlash from his comments could be a “teaching moment”.

“I hope we’re not just going to dismiss this and say, ‘Oh, she has to quit,'” Breed said. “It’s like, ‘How can we come together and make this a teaching moment? How can we prevent this from becoming politically divisive?’ Because she actually represents a constituency…who feel they want a representative on this school board. So I think it’s important for her to be a better leader and to be a better bridge builder.

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