1914: School board opposes admitting new Indian students to Berkeley High


1914: School board opposes admitting new Indian students to Berkeley High
From Berkeley Daily Gazette, Aug 5, 1914, page 1


Requests from two Hindu lads for permission to enter the high school stirred up a lively discussion at the meeting of the board of education last evening. Superintendent James and Principal Biedenbach pointed out tho crowded conditions of the school and the financial stress, which has made It necessary to refuse similar requests.

To the query of J. A. Wilson as to what claim the Hindu lads had on the Berkeley schools, President Stern re- plied, "The claim of human beings; they are men. I do not think that this board should stand for any expression of race prejudice of discrimination. We should educate every one who comes to us for an education it we can.

I am not asking that we take them, if we have not room, but they should not be barred because they are Hindus."

Wilson explained that he was not questioning their moral claim, but their calm to demand entrance, when the crowded conditions made it necessary to refuse entrance to non-resident Americans. "I am not in favor of taking outside children, when we cannot accommodate our own," was the statement of Dr. Woolsey.

"I believe that we should discriminate." sald Superintendent James. "Our own children should come first."

Uneducated Should Be Barred.

Principal Biedenbach explained that one foreign pupil caused as much work for the teachers as five or six Americans and thought the foreigners should not be allowed to enter the school until they could write and speak English fluently.

The Hayward Union high school or the Oakland high school were suggested to the Hindus as schools where the congested conditions of the local school do not exist. Final action will be token on the matter at the adjourned meeting next Monday."
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