San Dieguito Union High School District
Cheryl James Ward 62bc88642bed6

San Dieguito Union High (Calif.) board fires superintendent over comments about Asian students

June 29, 2022
Cheryl James-Ward made comments about Asian student academic performance that some found offensive and insensitive.

The San Dieguito Union High school board in Encinitas, Calif., has voted to fire its superintendent, Cheryl James-Ward

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the vote comes after months of controversy over comments she made that attributed the academic performance of Asian students to an influx of wealthy Chinese immigrant families.  

The comments were made in April during a diversity, equity and inclusion board workshop. Allman was asked why the district’s Asian students were getting better grades than other student groups. James-Ward said that Asian students do well in school because they are from wealthy families who recently emigrated from China.

The board met Sunday night to terminate James-Ward's contract without cause, effective Aug. 15. The contract was set to expire in June 2025. Because she is being terminated without cause, her contract enables her to be paid a year’s salary--$288,000-- as a buyout.

James-Ward was hired in October. She had been a principal, school district administrator and professor at San Diego State University.

The superintendent's comments at the April meeting sparked outrage from several Asian parents and community members who said the comments were racially insensitive and falsely implied that all Asian students are Chinese and wealthy. James-Ward also said that the community of Carmel Valley “had a large influx of Chinese families moving in, sight unseen, into our homes,” a comment some said painted Chinese people as outsiders.

James-Ward apologized for her comments but also said critics had taken her words out of context and used them to unfairly persecute her.

Tina Douglas, the district’s associate superintendent of business services, has been serving as the interim superintendent since April. Her interim superintendent contract runs until on June 30, 2025.

Sponsored Recommendations

Latest from Business & Finance