Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ claim that she was “part of the second class to integrate her public schools” is not accurate.
Harris made the assertion in the Democrat presidential debate, in which she took aim at former segregation proponent Joe Biden.
Harris, rocked by scandal involving her association with race hoaxer Jussie Smollett and for covering up illegal wiretapping during her time as California attorney general, is straining to be racially relevant despite her past career as a prosecutor contributing to mass incarceration.
She strained too far with her debate claim.
The Sacramento Bee fact-checks: “While it’s true she was among the second class of students at Thousand Oaks Elementary School to participate in a fully integrated busing program, she was far from the first black child to attend the school.
Data from the Berkeley Unified School District shows the school had 15 black students in 1963 — a year before Harris was born. They represented 3% of the total elementary school student body, while other schools in the district had a black population as high as 97%.
A fierce advocate of integration, Neil Sullivan moved to California 1964 to take over as superintendent. In the subsequent years, a task force reported to him to address the de facto segregation in the community.
In 1967, Sullivan’s team drafted a plan for all elementary schools to have black representation between 35% and 45%. By that time, the district had already desegregated its secondary schools — grades 7 to 12.
Black representation had grown slightly in the early-1960s. By 1967, the district considered its schools to be “partially desegregated,” but still “making progress toward racial integration,” according to documents obtained by The Sacramento Bee. The records show one in ten students at Thousand Oaks Elementary School in 1967 were black…
After a pilot program and the launch of a formal busing program that fall, the schools had been more evenly divided. During the first year of the program — a year before Harris arrived in 1969 — black enrollment jumped from 10% to 37%. The district’s data shows an increase in black representation at Thousand Oaks from 37% to 41% by the end of Harris’s first year of school.”
Sacramento Bee passage ends
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