A San Diego-area school district voted Sunday to fire its superintendent after her
racially insensitive comments about an “influx” of “wealthy” Asians into the community, KSWB-TV reported, but Cheryl James-Ward can still receive a year’s salary as a buyout — $288,000.
What are the details?
Ward has been on administrative leave since April after her comments during a San Dieguito Union High School District diversity, equity, and inclusion training session that linked Asian students’ academic performance to what she saw as wealth of Chinese immigrants, the station said.
“Here in San Dieguito we have an influx of Asians from China, and the people who were able to make that journey are wealthy,” Ward said in part, according to a previous KSWB story. “You cannot come to America and buy a house for two million dollars unless you have money.”
The training session was held in response to certain student demographics receiving D and F grades while the percentage of Asian students with low grades wasn’t high, KSWB said in that previous piece.
Speaking to the station in a subsequent interview, Ward claimed certain board members were retaliating against her after she filed a harassment complaint against Trustee Michael Allman.
“I believe Michael Allman and Mo Muir created a situation for a public lynching … and then I was asked to leave,” Ward told KSWB.
Ward’s supporters have called for Allman’s resignation, the station said.
How did Ward react to her firing?
KSWB said Ward responded to her termination Monday via text message: “I heard the news today when I landed in London and was quite surprised. I’ve put my job on the line to make decisions in the best interests of the district, standing against those with nefarious intentions. Sometimes that will cost you your job. I would make the same decisions again because my heart is with kids and our community.”
Ward issued public apologies after her comments, KSWB said, but parents were still angry about her words.
The four remaining board members voted unanimously to terminate Ward’s contract, the station added.
KSWB said since Ward is being terminated without cause, her contract allows her to receive a year’s salary — $288,000 — as a buyout. The station added that Ward has said she would plan to sue if the board fired her.
None of the board members returned KSWB’s requests for comment Monday, the station said.