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Alumni seek injunction over Lowell High School lottery admissions

Dick Howe Jr

The Lowell Alumni Association, Friends of Lowell Foundation, and the Asian American Legal Foundation filed a request for an injunction in San Francisco Superior Court last Friday.

In a lawsuit filed in March, the three plaintiffs alleged the San Francisco School Board violated the Brown Act -- which requires local government business to be conducted at open and public meetings. They claimed in February, the board rushed a vote to move Lowell’s admission process from an academic-based system to the district’s lottery system.

The School Board claimed the change, that went into effect for the current school year, was in response to ongoing racism that was being reported at the school. The change was supported by Lowell's Black Student Union as well as some African American San Francisco parent and teacher groups.

The president of the Lowell Alumni Association said their suit aims to force the Board of Education to fully engage in a thoughtful and transparent public discussion regarding the best admissions policy for the high school.

Lowell's grade point average based admissions began in 1966. Since then, conversations about equity and racial segregation have prompted several policy changes to promote diversity and inclusion from some of the city’s under-served neighborhoods.