I attended and spoke at the Nov. 14 City Council hearing on the proposal to enroll 315 Chinese students at Clinton High by 2033. This proposal was approved. It means that Clinton High will become about 37 percent Chinese, a percentage far too high for harmonious relations between our Iowa students and the Chinese. This is an unprecedented social experiment we should not run. It will fail.
The City Council and Clinton Catalyst (owner of former Ashford U. campus) viewed their proposal as strictly a business one that will stimulate our local economy and make use of a major facility in town. However, their agreement also advances an unprecedented sociological experiment that research on diverse groups coming into contact over the years demonstrates is very likely to fail.
This means we would see good relations on the high school campus when there are a relative few Chinese in the early years of the 15-year proposed lease to a Chinese “entity” (whose identity I could not get out of the Council Tuesday night). Unfortunately, a tipping point will occur as the percentage nears 37 percent Chinese. At that level, the entire social structure of Clinton High will change and there will be widespread resentment on the part of the Iowa students and the community at large. This is not an outcome we want or need.
The idea of bringing in Chinese students can be an excellent one. But it is not at all a good idea to bring in such a socially transformative number that defeats the original purpose. The city of Clinton will eventually regret this decision.
Gary Heath, Ph.D.,