Asian Americans Boycott South Philly High after Attacks
updated Tuesday, Dec. 8th
Administrators held a closed meeting at South Philadelphia High School with parents, police and community represesntatives. Fifty to seventy-five people attended the meeting in a large classroom. Another meeting is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Additional information were that seven Asian students required treatment from the attacks, and many African American students, while expressing sympathy for Asian students, feel that they are all being blamed for the actions of a small part of their community.
South Philly High Asian American students are boycotting school and holding meetings after attacks on about 30 Asian Americans at the school last week Wednesday and Thursday. As many as sixty students participated in the boycott Friday and today on Monday.
In the attacks. some students had to be hospitalized. Violence against Asian American students have been going on for over a year, and a teacher interviewed had said that previous meetings led to "hot air." They gave us "another phone number to call," he said. Students said attacks occurred inside and outside the school, at Broad Street and Snyder Avenue. They said that they were targetted because they were Asian; primarily Chinese but also a Vietnamese student have been attacked. According to one of the victims, both males and females, primarily African Americans, participated in the attacks.
A student goverment member, Amina Delazquez, said that in the fights last week, she saw "Several students jumping an Asian kid. It was really horrible, because he was on the floor in the fetal position, they were still kicking him and everything. After that, these Asian kids jumped this one black kid."
School district officials met with students and community advocates to respond to the assaults. Ten other students have been suspended from school, including some Asian American students. "Everybody who was suspended was fighting," regional superintendent Michael Silverman said. James Golden, the school district's chief safety executive, said "What gets lost in all of this is the fact that the school, the community and the students have worked hard over the past two years to foster that kind of positive learning environment. Despite what happened this week, that positive learning environment prevails." When dozens of students get attacked inside a school, that's pretty lame.
The school, with some 1,200 students, is 70 percent black and 18 percent Asian. It serves mostly low-income neighborhoods south of downtown and has been labeled "persistently dangerous" by the state, based on the number of safety incidents reported.
Asian Americans United and the Philadelphia Commmunity Development Corporation are among the Chinatown organizations.