San Francisco school board commissioner Ann Hsu formally admonished at contentious meeting

San Francisco Unified School District's school board commissioner Ann Hsu was formally admonished during a special session on Tuesday. The vote by fellow board members was unanimous. Hsu spoke before the vote. 

Hsu faced official consequences for statements she made about Black and brown students in the district in a parents questionnaire. Many individuals and organizations, including NAACP have called for her resignation.

"I said things that perpetuated harmful stereotypes," Hsu said at the meeting.  "I made a mistake and I'm deeply sorry."

Before the meeting, various groups and the NAACP hosted a rally calling for her to resign. Hsu has faced increasing calls for consequences following comments she made in the questionnaire. In the comments, Hsu said some of the major challenges facing the district were Black and brown students facing unstable family environments and a lack of parental encouragement to focus on learning.

In that rally before the board meeting the NAACP, the city's teachers union, Latino community groups called on Hsu to step down. "We are thankful that they're going to admonish Commissioner Hsu, but we want them to admonish her and to ask for a full resignation immediately," said Virginia Marshall from the NAACP.

"It's insulting, appalling to say Latino families don't care about the education of their children. The reason many Latinos traveled to this country is to search for a better life for their children," said Kevin Ortiz with San Francisco Latinx Democratic Club. 

Hsu, had apologized prior to the meeting and said the comments she made were inherently biased. Her supporters have said she has learned from her error. 

During the contentious meeting, where opponents and supporters of Hsu were given equal time to talk, the board called for a 15-minute "cooling-off period." They cleared the room when opponents disrupted a Hsu supporter. When the meeting resumed that Hsu supporter was given a chance to speak. 

"She's not the problem. Chronically-absent students are less likely to read at grade level, more likely to end up in prison. Be offended by that," said Hsu supporter Diane Yap. 

SEE ALSO: SF school board member apologizes for comment in candidate questionnaire

"What you said was egregious and harmful and that's a reflection of what you truly believe," said Rionda Batiste, one of Hsu's critics. 

Hsu was appointed to the school board by Mayor London Breed after three school board members were ousted in a February special election. 

Tuesday’s vote was largely symbolic. One school board member said he plans to introduce a resolution for a vote of no confidence. In November, voters will get to decide if Hsu will keep her job.