San Francisco's Everett Middle School, where the principal held back student election results due to a lack of diversity. CBS San Francisco video screenshot
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A San Francisco middle school principal is facing criticism for withholding class election results because she was concerned about a lack of racial diversity.
Lena Van Haren, principal of Everett Middle School, came under fire from some students and parents earlier this month when she announced that the results of the Oct. 9 student election were being withheld due to a lack of racial diversity among the winners.
"This is complex, but as a parent and a principal, I truly believe it behooves us to be thoughtful about our next steps here so that we can have a diverse student council that is truly representative of all voices at Everett," Van Haren told parents in an email Thursday.
Sebastian Kaplan, who ran for seventh-grade representative, was among those critical of Van Haren's actions.
"The organizers are saying things like, 'we want everyone's voice to be heard,' but in truth, the voters' voices are not being heard," Kaplan told KRON-TV. "Most kids are in agreement that the results need to come out because kids worked really hard on it."
Van Haren announced the results Monday after complaints from parents and school district officials. She said African American and Latino students were underrepresented among the 10 winners, who were predominantly white.
"It's not OK for a school that is really, really diverse to have the student representatives majority white," Van Haren told the San Francisco Chronicle. "The easy thing would have been to announce the results and move on. I intentionally did not choose the easy way because this is so important."