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San Dieguito community mixed on Dr. Ward continuing as superintendent

An interim superintendent was appointed by the school board to lead the district during Dr. Cheryl Ward's administrative leave.

SAN DIEGO — During a discussion about different demographics and their academic grades, San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Cheryl James-Ward was asked why Asian students were excelling in school. Ward said many Asian students were excelling because those migrating to the country were coming from wealth.

"I can tell you part of that reason. So here in San Dieguito we have an influx of Asians from China and people who make that journey are wealthy so you're going to get kids who are the most affluent kids," said Ward during the discussion.

Her response has now sparked a divide on whether she should step down. Dozens spoke out calling for Ward’s resignation during a heated board meeting this week.

"I was totally shocked that someone with her experience, education and background could say some low-level things like that," Jason Zho, a parent who attended the school board meeting on Wednesday.

While Ward apologized and has reiterated her apology, many families say that saying the word sorry is not enough and that there needs to be consequences. 

However, several students, parents and retired faculty continue to support Ward and say that this is all taking attention from the real problems happening in the district.

Some say that this controversy only builds to the chaos that the school district has gone through with superintendents resigning, like Robert Haley who resigned and is still being paid for his salary. 

“So this is more money being wasted on a perfectly, well spoken, educated woman. Yes, she made a mistake in some of her comments. She apologized and she came out with a plan of reparations,” said Ronnette, who is a retired teacher from the district.  

Despite the previous statement, those in support of Ward staying voice she has remained transparent.

She's created town halls, where she sits down with the kids from the different high schools. She’s really done good for our district and I don’t want to lose her,” said Ronnette.

WATCH RELATED: San Dieguito school board appoints interim superintendent (March 2022).

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