San Francisco school board candidate quits race after trans comments

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A San Francisco school board candidate has quit the race after apologizing for controversial remarks about the rights of transgender students.

The San Francisco Examiner says Josephine Zhao announced her withdrawal Monday morning in a Facebook post.

Zhao was criticized after comments she made to Chinese-language media in 2013 recently surfaced. In those remarks, Zhao said legislation that allows transgender students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity could lead to rape.

The ensuing controversy caused her to lose endorsements.

Zhou apologized last month. But the newspaper says that apology was undermined after Zhao acknowledged — in Chinese-language text messages to a chat group — that she doesn’t support the transgender restroom policy and only claimed to do so.

Here is Zhao’s full statement in English and Chinese:

After careful consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the race for school board.

While I strongly believe that my positions on a variety of issues have been twisted, misrepresented and used to tear me down personally, I also believe that there are more important issues at play.

I strongly believe that the issue of transgender rights and dignity is larger than any single person’s candidacy for office, including my own. Therefore, I would rather step aside and work for the greater good than allow my candidacy to be a tool of division.

There can be no mixed messages when it comes to transgender rights in our schools.

We must send a message to transgender people, especially transgender children, that is absolutely clear and unequivocal: We support you!

I will step aside at this time to work on the issues that I care about, including this one.

First and foremost, I am an advocate for children, parents, immigrant families and people who struggle to find a voice in our educational system. That is my passion, that is what I do. And rather than let a divisive campaign jeopardize my work or, worse, further divide our communities, I will redouble my efforts to advocate for our families, and our kids, on the front lines.

I will not be used as a tool of division. Some things are more important than a campaign, or a seat on a board.

在深思熟虑之后,我决定退出教育委员的竞选。

虽然我坚信我在各种问题的立场上都遭到扭曲和误导,以便对我的人格进行毁灭。但我相信我们还有更重要的事情去做。

我坚信跨性别人士的权利和尊严问题比任何一个候选人,包括我自己的竞选都要大。因此,我宁愿离开并为更大的利益而努力,而不是让我的竞选成为分裂社区的工具。

在此重申,在我们学校的跨性别权利方面,绝对没有含糊的信息。

我们必须向跨性别者,特别是跨性别儿童发出信息,这绝对是明确无误的:我们支持你!

我将暂时退选去为我所关心的议题而工作,包括这个议题。

首先,我是一名为儿童、家长和移民家庭的倡导者,是为他们在教育系统里找到自己的发言权的倡导者。这是我的热情,这是我心属的工作。与其让这一系列分离的行动危及我心有所属的工作,甚至进一步分裂我们的社区,我将会加倍努力,在前线上为我们的家庭和孩子做出贡献。

我不会让我自己被一些人用作分裂的工具。我深知有些事情比一个竞选或教育委员的席位更重要。

___

Information from: The San Francisco Examiner, http://www.sfexaminer.com

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