A middle school student government election has fallen victim to political correctness run amok as a middle-school principal decided to withhold results of a class election because the winners were not diverse enough.

The election was held on Friday, October 9 and students expected to hear the results announced at school on Monday morning. Instead, the principal embarked on a campaign to hi-jack the election to promote diversity in a school that is already a melting pot.

Principal Lena Van Haren at Everett Middle School in San Francisco decided that the balloting did not sufficiently represent the population of the school and sent an email to parents stating that the results were “being ignored.”

The email stated in part, “When we reviewed the results of our Associated Student Body (ASB) elections on Friday, October 9th, we saw that it was not fully representative of our school population.”

Seventh grader Sebastian Kaplan, who ran for student representative because he said he “wanted to get involved and change some things,” said that rather than insuring that everyone’s voice would be heard, the voters’ voices have been ignored. “The whole school voted for those people, so it is not like people rigged the game, but in a way, now it is kinda being rigged.”

The school is heavily Hispanic (56) percent Hispanic and minority with 9 percent black, 12 percent “other” and 5 percent Asian; less than 20 percent of the students are white. The school’s mix reflects the diversity of its Mission District neighborhood.

Ignoring the probability that the Everett students’ vote was based on popularity, as most school elections are, Van Haren was upset that four of the ten student government positions spots were won by whites.

“It’s not OK for a school that is really, really diverse to have the student representatives majority white,” she said.

Student candidates who ran in the election were also upset; although the principal claimed she was not nullifying the balloting, in fact the results were not officially announced until angry parents took the matter to social and broadcast media.

Parent David Todd spoke to local media about the principal's decision.
“My criticism of the Everett administration is their good intention got in the way of their common sense. It’s really, really disturbing to me that withholding the results somehow equals social justice or equity.”
Eugene Volokh, UCLA law professor, blogged in the Washington Post, “Well, the children’s voices were heard. They just seemed to be less obsessed with race than some administrators are.”

Van Haren later claimed she was not nullifying the election results, but wanted to use it as a “learning experience.”

She said she is considering the creation of several new positions in the student government to ensure more minorities are represented.

The embattled principal tried to laugh away the outrage, telling reporters, “This is middle school. It’s not a presidential election. It’s not about putting diversity over democracy.”

But community comments on the San Francisco Chronicle website disagreed.

“So it’s more important to be diverse than democratic?” wrote one.

Another said, “You do not get to negate democratic election results because you would have preferred them to be different.” Other comments noted that dictating the results of free elections sounded like tactics used by Hitler and Stalin.

Van Haren conceded that she could have handled the matter better by announcing the results and then naming a committee to examine ways to make the student government as diverse as the student body.

Source: WND.com

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