Caucasian Student Club Developer Drops out of School

By Jon E. Dougherty | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

( - A 15-year-old high school freshman who proposed the creation of a Caucasian student club at a California high school has transferred to another facility, citing harassment from other students.

Lisa McClelland reportedly left the predominantly white Freedom High School in Oakley, vowing never to return because of pestering from other students, some who accused her of being racist. With her parents' permission, McClelland transferred to La Paloma, a continuation high school in nearby Brentwood, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"Some people would say words like 'racist' when they see me," Lisa told the Chronicle. "Some people would give me a look. Some people would whisper something."

She said in one incident, a group of boys too far away for her to see called out the word "racist." Another incident involved an acquaintance. Principal Eric Volta dealt with both cases, the paper stated.

Louis Calabro, founder of the European-American Issues Forum, told he was initially contacted by McClelland regarding her idea for the Caucasian club. Despite her decision to leave Freedom High, Calabro said he would continue to support McClelland, "act as an informal advisor to Lisa and her family, and help her any way that we can."

"In all of California or maybe America, there is not a Caucasian student club," Calabro said. "All students have a right to honor and celebrate their identity," even if they're not minorities, he added.

As previously reported, conservative critics have denounced opposition to McClelland's proposal as a racial double standard.

"There is incredible public hypocrisy over the entrenched double standards that have come to be taken for granted by the American educational establishment," David Horowitz, founder of the Los Angeles-based Center for the Study of Popular Culture told last week. "Our (high school and college) campuses are the most segregated and racially discriminatory institutions in the entire country."

Lisa McClelland's problems at Freedom High began shortly after she developed, then circulated, a petition in late August with "Caucasian/White Club" as the headline. In three weeks she said she collected 300 signatures from students and townspeople.

McClelland defended the idea of a club for whites, arguing that many other ethnic groups had their own clubs at the high school. Among those are the Black Student Union, the Latinos Unidos for Latino students and the ALOHA club for Asian students.

But as support for her club grew locally, others in the community and surrounding areas saw problems.

The Chronicle reported the East County Chapter of the NAACP was "vehemently" opposed to the formation of any Caucasian club, ostensibly because it would foster segregation.

"It's not culturally sensitive to the community we're addressing. The club, in name, seems like a backdoor approach to separation," the paper quoted chapter vice president Darnell Turner as saying. "From a historical perspective, this will bring up fears."

Pedro Noguera, a sociologist at New York University who specializes in race and diversity issues, said he agreed with Lisa's club "to an extent." But, he told the Chronicle that a Caucasian club had a different meaning than clubs for other ethnic groups as a result of U.S. history.

"On one level, it is understandable that when white students see other students celebrating their cultures and participating in activities that recognize their backgrounds, like Cinco de Mayo or the Chinese New Year's Parade, those students might feel some degree of resentment," he told the paper. "But almost everything else, though it's not named as a celebration of white people and white culture, is just that. Most of U.S. history glorifies the experience of individuals and groups of people who are white. That is the norm."

Calabro blasted such a view, calling it "bigoted" and insisting it had no place in 21st century America. "That's sick," he said. "Those old bigoted ideas must be left in the past."

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