Oakland school district apologizes for using racist Asian term in survey

The Oakland Unified School District is apologizing for using a "historically racist term for people of Asian descent," which somehow found its way into a survey question about demographics.

In a statement sent out Thursday, spokesman John Sasaki said as soon as the district became aware of it, officials removed the term and replaced it with "appropriate language." 

He did not state what the offensive term was.

In addition, an entire demographic category was also removed from the survey.

Because of those two factors, Sasaki said the entire survey has been removed. He said the district is working with the information technology staff to find the cause, whether it was because of a flaw in the system or if there is some other explanation.

"We are sorry to anyone who saw it and felt the crushing weight of historic racism associated with the word," Sasaki said. "To be clear, it is not a word that I or anyone who works for the district would use. We promise to do better in the future by, at a minimum, finding any digital security issue that might have led to these problems, stopping any possible outside actors who might have accessed the system, and redoubling our efforts to check everything to ensure all messaging from the district comes out exactly as planned."

A replacement survey will be sent out soon.