Seventh grader, Seabastian Kaplan used logic when explaining this situation to the media by saying that the whole school voted for these students, so it’s not like they rigged anything. If the organizers want everyone’s voice to be heard, this seems like a good way to silence them.
According to KTVU, Van Haren wants this to be a “learning experience” for those involved. But at a glance, it’s not clear what the lesson is, beyond telling kids their vote doesn’t fully count if they don’t vote for the right skin colors.
Update, 11:47 p.m.: According to UCLA professor Eugene Volokh, blogging at The Washington Post, Van Haren has partly changed course due to the backlash.
“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,” Van Haren said in a statement. “I made the decision to pause on sharing the results with the students in order to capitalize on a teachable moment. I wanted to have a conversation with all of the candidates and ask for their ideas to make sure that all voices and groups are represented in our ASB. In retrospect, I understand how this decision to pause created concerns. Today I visited classrooms to announce the winners of the elections.”
It sounds like Principal Van Haren would make a great member of the Obama Administration, her quest for social justice being a double-edged sword. By modifying the student government to be made up more of minorities, she’s teaching students that it’s okay to value one race over another. And in the end, doesn’t that completely defeat the purpose of an election? According to The Washington Post, Van Haren has somewhat changed course due to the backlash.