Jan. 18, 1907: California’s Racial Bans in Public Schools

Note: This is an encore post from 2007.

Jan. 18, 1907
San Francisco

In what is surely an embarrassing and awkward oversight, the California Constitution only prevents “Mongolian” children from attending white public schools when separate campuses have been created. The problem, legislators have discovered, is that the Japanese aren’t Mongolians and feel they somehow have the right to go to school with everyone else.

The case before the Legislature and San Francisco officials involves 10-year-old Keikeiki Aoki, who has been barred from the Redding public schools by Principal Mary A. Deane. In a unanimous ruling, the California Supreme Court has issued a writ ordering Deane to show cause as to why she should not admit Keikeiki to school.

Deane has responded that “she was acting under the law of the state and in pursuance of a resolution passed by the Board of Education that Japanese pupils cannot attend any public school except the Oriental school for Mongolians and Indians,” The Times says.

In an attempt to resolve the impasse, San Francisco City Atty. Burke is rushing to Sacramento to urge the Legislature to pass an amendment to the state Constitution substituting the word “Asiatic” for “Mongolian.”

“As the Legislature is unanimously against admitting Japanese children to the public schools, this amendment could be rushed through in a couple of days,” The Times says.

The proposed wording: “And also to establish separate schools for Indian children, Japanese children, Malay children, Korean children and all children of the Mongolian race. When such separate schools are established, Indian, Chinese, Malay, Korean, Japanese and all Mongolian children must not be admitted into any other school.”

Remind me again about how the past was a kinder, simpler time, please. I keep forgetting.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1907, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts, Education, LAPD, Streetcars. Bookmark the permalink.

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