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Sacramento Science Fair Project Deemed “Racist”

On Wednesday, a Sacramento high school project was removed from the science fair after receiving backlash over its hypothesis, which suggested the lack of diversity within the Humanities and International Studies Program (HISP), an elite magnet program within the school, was completely justified.

The HISP program at C.K. McClatchy High School is currently 61% white (310 students). Hispanic students make up 16% of the program’s members, and just under a quarter are Asian (Southeast and Northeast. Only 2.4% of HISP members are black.)

As if the student’s claims itself weren’t enough to spark indelible outrage among students, parents, and faculty, his hypothesis summoned the inferno. The hypothesis? That certain races of students (blacks, Southeast Asians, and Hispanics) have a lower IQ than non-Hispanic whites and Northeast Asians, and thus, those students could not handle the rigor of the program’s coursework.

And in come the PC Police.

In order to prove his hypothesis, the student administered an online IQ test to students aged 15-16 within the student body, and participants came from all of the racial categories listed above. In his conclusion, the student did note that participants may have rushed through the test or not taken it seriously, and that in future experiments, he would attempt to mitigate this. He also expressed a desire to uncover why these IQ disparities occur.

Overall, the student found that blacks, Southeast Asians, and nonwhite Hispanics had a lower aggregate IQ than non-Hispanic whites and Northeast Asians. These findings lend themselves to the conclusion, the student asserts, that black, Southeast Asian, and nonwhite Hispanic students would not be as likely as non-Hispanic whites and Northeast Asians to be accepted into “a more academically rigorous program such as HISP.”

Of course, the Principal of the school, who is black himself, quickly engaged in damage control after the outcry over the project, telling students, parents, and staff that the school condemns discrimination and racism.

Several students at the school expressed concerns that their school has an “undercurrent of racism” that had been unmasked by this student’s project, because the majority of the students in HISP are white or Asian and they don’t interact with many students outside the magnet program.

The district is currently investigating the incident, but so far does not believe that the student’s project has violated any policies set forth by the district or the school.

Of course it didn’t. Because it’s science. We all know by now that diversity for diversity’s sake is not a strength. Diversifying on the basis of skin color alone is elementary. Imbecilic. And valuing competence over race is not something that should be frowned upon.

Photo credit: Stilfehler 

Follow Tiana on Twitter @TianaDalichov, GABand on Facebook.

About Tiana Dalichov (6 Articles)
Tiana Dalichov is an educator, historian, and author. She is also the host of the Unapologetic Podcast. You can find more of Tiana's work at

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