San Dieguito Union Superintendent Apologizes for Comments About ‘Wealthy’ Asians

San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Cheryl James-Ward has apologized for comments she made about Asian American students that many found offensive.

The remarks were made during a board training session last week. Trustee Michael Allman asked the superintendent if “we know why Asian students do so well in school” compared to their peers. James-Ward suggested it was because of their wealth.

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

She noted that many wealthy Asians were moving into her own community. In contrast, Latino families “don’t have that type of money,” and parents have to work which means they spend less time with their children, she added.

The Californians for Equal Rights Foundation called her statements “deeply offensive, grossly inaccurate and intentionally divisive, which ill-fits her leadership role in a major school district.”

James-Ward has acknowledged she chose her words poorly, calling the issue of Asian American student achievement “complex.”

She added the following in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“If I harmed any member of my community, I am deeply sorry, and that would never be my intent.”