Former Board of Ed Member Questions Bi-Racial Student's Admittance to Harvard

Brunilde Fioravanti
Aprile 24, 2018

18-year-old Drake Johnson took to social media to celebrate his acceptance into Harvard University but was immediately questioned by a former member of the Texas State Board of Education about his admission.

That's not how George Clayton, who held a position on the Texas State Board of Education from 2010 to 2012, felt. "My shame hangs heavy in my heart". I am, of course humbled by my words and sincerely sorry for them. In an evening comment, he said his question was "totally wrong and hugely insensitive".

Next fall, he heads to Harvard, where he plans on studying government and politics. "Were you admitted on merit or quota?". "Did you become an "educator" on merit or white privilege?" one commenter retorted.

The exchange, originally reported by The Dallas Morning News, caused severe backlash online. He's now in the running for a spot on the 2018 board.

Clayton declined to comment to Dallas News, "saying he has retired from public life and no longer speaks to the press". "Valedictorian, ASB President, World Champion, good SAT, and a couple handfuls of other involvements, so I would think merit?"

Drake Johnson is his high school's valedictorian, student body president, a world champion cheerleader, as well as a member of National Honor Society, Debate Club, and president of two other clubs. He told the Morning News that he wanted to craft a response to Clayton that would "civilly defuse" the situation. "I would think merit?" he answered, adding that he was accepted to Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Georgetown and four different University of California institutions.

"Why do you care, and why are you asking that particular question to a kid who is clearly of some type of mixed race? That is just so frustrating", she said.

When high school senior Drake Johnson got into Harvard, he made a decision to share the news with his Twitter following, as many teenagers his age do.

Donna Bahorich, the current chair of the Texas State Board of Education, congratulated Johnson, writing he is a "young man who is going places and deserves ONLY accolades and a big high five".

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