A California middle school principal is keeping student election results secret, because too many white kids won. There weren’t enough black students. This is important according to principal Lena Van Haren, because the school is about 80% black and 20% white. She said that she “wants to make sure all voices are heard from all backgrounds.”
In a school with that kind of racial makeup, about 80% of the student government positions should have been filled with students of color, in order for the election to be “fair.” Since it didn’t turn out the way the principal wanted, it wasn’t a fair election, and she’s withholding the results.
If she’s going to be that way about it, perhaps she should just decide who won. That way, it would really be fair.
“We’re not nullifying the election, we’re not canceling the election, and we’re not saying this didn’t count,” [principal] Van Haren said, adding that she’s called a meeting of student representatives to see how best to move forward.
According to KTVU, Van Haren said she’s considering adding more positions to the student government in an effort to make it more equal.
“I feel like it is disrespectful to everyone who were running,” Sebastian Kaplan, who was running for the position of seventh-grade representative, told KRON-TV.
“The organizers are saying stuff like, ‘we want everyone’s voice to be heard,’ but then in truth, the voters’ voices aren’t being heard,” Kaplan said. “Most kids are in agreement that it’s not fair and that the results need to be given out because people worked really hard on it.”
“The whole school voted for those people, so it is not like people rigged the game, but now in a way it is kinda being rigged,” Kaplan said.
The middle schooler told KRON that he just wants to know whether or not he won.
Parent Bianca Gutierrez told KTVU that school officials should have decided, prior to the election and students’ campaigns, how they wanted to ensure the election results would be more diverse. She said her son, who was running for class representative, doesn’t want to be a part of student government anymore as the whole ordeal has been discouraging.
“So if we can’t teach them the right way of how it’s supposed to work, then we are really letting our kids down,” Gutierrez said. “My heart goes out to the kids because they’re confused still about what’s the issue.”
First of all, whites are a minority at this school. I thought we were supposed to cater to the minority. Apparently, that’s only true if the minority is blacks.
Also, can you imagine if the racial demographics were reversed? If whites were 80% of the school population, and blacks were 20%, would the principal care if blacks won a majority of student government positions? I don’t think so. It doesn’t matter what the racial makeup of the school is. The only fair outcome is one where blacks win the most.
Second of all, what is this supposed to teach kids about elections? That the racial demographics of government have to match the racial demographics of the voting population? And what if they don’t? Then someone at the top needs to keep those election results secret until they can find a way to “fix” it.