Nearly one in three American students is bullied, but for Asian American students, the numbers are even more staggering — more than half.
A report published just last year in the AAPI Nexus revealed that 54 percent of Asian American teenagers are victims of bullying in the classroom. These findings were from a 2009 survey conducted by the U.S. Justice and Education departments that interviewed 6,500 students aged 12 to 18 throughout the nation, who reported to being targets of taunting, exclusion, and even physical violence.
An extreme incident took place in South Philadelphia High School on December 3, 2009, when roves of high schoolers sought out Asian American students – both boys and girls – and assaulted them throughout the day. School officials reportedly failed to take the complaints seriously, and at least 13 teenagers ended up in the hospital to be treated for broken noses and black eyes. Though this may have been the most serious reported ordeal, accounts of similar physical assaults on Asian American teenagers as a result of racism exist throughout the internet.
This disproportionate targeting of Asian American youth was further brought to light when two Asian American soldiers, Private Danny Chen of Manhattan, New York and Lance Corporal Harry Lew of Santa Clara, California, were driven to suicide as a result of discrimination. Subsequent investigation confirmed that both young men were subjected to hazing in the form of physical assaults and, at least in the case of Private Danny Chen, racial slurs such as “chink” “dragon lady” and “gook” were utilized as a form of belittlement and alienation.
To address this increased risk of violence and discrimination against our youth, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association will have its annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Event on May 29, 2012 at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles to hold a panel discussion on bullying, hazing and discrimination.
Panelists will include: The Hon. David Wesley, Assistant Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and the Teen Court Program Director, Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Snyder of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, School Pychologist Sarita G. Guerrero, and Seth Levy, General Counsel of It Gets Better.
Opening remarks will be provided by Congresswoman Judy Chu of the 32nd District.
This is a free event that will begin at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at the Community Room of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. Food and drinks will be provided. The program will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and a reception will follow.
As we anticipate a full house, please RSVP at your earliest convenience and at the latest by May 25, 2012 to [email protected].