We all know student government. We all had to vote for student body president etc. and we all heard from the candidates running for various positions. So, let’s focus on Raoul Wallenberg High School in San Francisco, California, where they allegedly decided to skirt the voting process and just appoint kids to create a more diverse governing body. You see Wallenberg is majority Asian, so the school reportedly just found some kids with Hispanic last names and put them in student government (via San Francisco Examiner):
For the first time, administrators at Raoul Wallenberg High School decided last September to forgo the democratic process in student elections and appoint members of the freshman class to most of the seats on the student council. The freshman president and all student leaders for other grade levels were still elected.
Part of the reasoning behind the change was to “encourage more diversity in our student leadership,” according to Principal Cheryl Foster, who responded to questions from the San Francisco Examiner through a district spokesperson.
But the attempt reportedly elicited outrage at a community meeting on April 28 from students who wanted the right to vote and parents like Christina Martinez, who said school officials tried to court her son, James Ortiz, 15, onto the student council because of his surname.
The practice could violate the San Francisco Unified School District’s student handbook, under which students have the right to a “free election of their peers in the student government.”
Assistant Principal Zaia Vera reportedly told Martinez she wanted Ortiz in office because it would make the student government look more diverse. Asian girls were the predominant candidates for student office in recent years.
“She said to me, ‘Mrs. Martinez, you could understand as a fellow Latina what we’re looking for here,” Martinez, who is not Latina, recalled. “‘We only have Asian girls run for office and we want the Wallenberg website to show not only Asian girls.’”
The majority of students at Wallenberg — 53 percent — in the 2014-15 school year were Asian, according to the district.
Ortiz was thrilled to make posters, stickers and his stump speech when he threw his hat into the ring for vice president of the ninth-grade class last September.
“He was very excited when he came home from school and said ‘my teacher has nominated me to run for vice president,’” Martinez said. “I thought they saw something in him: leadership or merit or good grades.”
But it turned out there apparently was another reason Ortiz was pushed to fill the student leadership role, according to Martinez.
After it was announced that another student was selected for the vice president seat, Ortiz was called into the principal’s office on three occasions, his mother said. Faculty twice encouraged him to become freshman treasurer.
On the third occasion, Ortiz and the white student who was selected as vice president were both called into the office. Faculty then asked the appointed vice president to step down so that Ortiz could take her seat, which he declined.
“They were, like, bribing me into being on the student council,” said Ortiz, who, despite his last name, identifies as white. “It was basically a thanks, but no thanks.”
Yeah, this is just ridiculous. A majority Asian school is freaked out that Asians might be predominately featured on the school website. I mean, the horror! The horror! As for fixing the elections, that’s just another shameless act—a complete disregard for the rules in the name of diversity. Sort of sounds like how progressives behave within any institution. If Ortiz decides to run for student office in the future, I wish him the best of luck, albeit on his terms, not that of the school’s administration.