OUSD Issues Apology for Problem with Community Survey Sent out on Thursday

Thursday, October 22, 2020Dear Oakland Unified Community,

Today, we released a survey in which a historically racist term for people of Asian descent somehow found its way into one of the questions about demographics. As soon as we became aware of it, we immediately removed the term and replaced it with appropriate language. The word was NOT in the final document that I saw before we sent it out. In fact, at a different point in time, an entire demographic category was removed from the survey. Because we have yet to determine how those two things happened, we are closing the survey for the time being. We are working with our information technology staff to find the cause, whether it was because of a flaw in the system we use or there is some other explanation.

I apologize that the word in question ended up in any document released by the District. We are sorry to anyone who saw it and felt the crushing weight of historic racism associated with the word. 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.

We will send a replacement survey soon. For community members who already filled out the survey, your responses have been recorded. We will reissue the survey as soon as possible.

Thank you.

John Sasaki
Communications Director
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