By Lovepreet Dhinsa
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – As pandemic regulations continue to loosen and schools begin reopening, schools must ensure the well-being and safety of their Asian American and Pacific Islander-identified students.
In comparison to other students, AAPI students are returning to school at a lower rate.
According to a U.S. Education Department survey, seven out of every 10 AAPI students in K-12 education are still learning online. This has been partly attributed to the increase in hate crimes against the AAPI community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stop AAPI Hate is a national coalition addressing anti-Asian racism across the United States, originally founded by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department.
The coalition’s most recent report found 343 incidents reported by youths (0 to 17 years old) in between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021. Another report found that 77 percent of AAPI youth also expressed anger over this racism, 60 percent expressed their disappointment, and 30 percent expressed fear in the community.
According to the coalition, “families should not have to choose between their children’s well-being and their education, yet this is a decision many AAPI families across the nation are being forced to make. The choice of many AAPI parents to keep their children home amid the return to in-person learning shows that concrete action is necessary to ensure our students feel safe and protected from racism while at school.”
The coalition urges schools to consider taking the following steps: acknowledging and denouncing Anti-Asian racism to create safer campus environments, integrate ethnic and anti-racism curriculum to promote racial justice and equity, develop systems of anonymous reporting for bullying and efficiently respond to these concerns, hold trainings for teachers and faculty, and to acknowledge the physical and mental well-being of AAPI students.
The coalition continues to monitor reports of AAPI hate and support the community as they can.
Lovepreet Dhinsa is a junior undergraduate student at the University of San Francisco, pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Politics with a minor in Legal Studies. She has a passion for criminal defense law, and strives to go to law school to fight for indigent clients. As such, she is also involved in her university’s mock trial program and student government.
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