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In San Francisco, Turmoil Over Reopening Schools Turns a City Against Itself

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At a board meeting on Tuesday, Ms. Collins said she would continue her work on the board.

Asian-American students and parents who called into the meeting fulminated against Ms. Collins and other members of the board, their voices cracking with emotion.

“This board is becoming a case study for performative, shallow activism and hypocrisy,” said one caller who identified himself as a student in the district.

Ms. López, the board president, has defended Ms. Collins, and voted against the measure stripping her of her title and committee assignments. She declined to comment, and Ms. Collins did not respond to requests for comment.

Rev. Amos C. Brown, the pastor of Third Baptist Church and the president of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP, said in an interview that he believed that the criticisms of Ms. Collins were disingenuous and driven by people who wanted to reverse the admissions change at Lowell High School.

And while he said Ms. Collins had chosen unpalatable words, he suggested that her comments contained some truth.

“Let’s face it, in this society, you do have certain people — not all, not all, certain people — who feel that they are a part of this oppressive oligarchy, and they do not persistently work with the underdog, the marginalized, but they only come around when there’s something of their vested interest,” he said.

But Lawrence Tribe, a Harvard law professor and an alumnus of the San Francisco public school system, said the board had used “cultural distractions” as a way of covering up its inability to get schools reopened.

“It’s clear,” he said, “that the internecine conflict among relatively privileged liberals sometimes leaves behind people that they genuinely believe they are concerned about.”

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