Stop AAPI Hate issued the following statement on April 14.
As school districts across the country return to in-person learning, action must be taken to protect the safety and well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students. Los Angeles Unified School District — the second-largest school district in the United States, serving a county with 1.5 million AAPIs — is among the school districts opening this week.
AAPI students are returning to school at a lower rate than their non-Asian peers. A U.S. Education Department survey shows that as of February 2021, almost 7 in 10 Asian American K-12 students were still learning online only. This hesitancy to return to in person learning has been partially attributed to the increase in hate against the AAPI community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stop AAPI Hate’s most recent national report found that youths (0 to 17 years old) reported 343 incidents between March 19, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021. This number likely undercounts the rate of hate incidents against youth, as many school districts have reopened since this data was collected.
A report conducted by the Stop AAPI Hate Youth Campaign in the summer of 2020 found that 77% of AAPI youth expressed anger over the anti-Asian hate in this nation, 60% expressed disappointment over racism, and 30% of AAPI youth expressed fear after an incident.
“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,” said Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition that documents and addresses anti-Asian hate and discrimination. “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. “
Stop AAPI Hate urges schools to take the following steps:
• Call on school superintendents, principals, and faculty to acknowledge and denounce the racism perpetrated against Asian Americans, and ensure their safety and well-being through official statements, which create campus climates of respect and inclusion
• Integrate ethnic studies and anti-racism curriculum into their coursework to address the roots of racism and promote racial empathy and justice
• Establish anonymous reporting systems for bullying and respond officially to all complaints/concerns
• Hold trainings with teachers and faculty on anti-Asian hate and discrimination to increase their understanding and empower them to address hate incidents that happen in their classrooms and schools
• Address the well-being of Asian American students as they experience racial trauma, fear and anxiety. Proactive measures can include, but are not limited to, multilingual outreach to parents and families, provision of culturally responsive mental health resources, and classroom check-ins
Stop AAPI Hate is a national coalition addressing anti-Asian racism across the U.S. The coalition was 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. Between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021, Stop AAPI Hate has received 3,795 reported incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans across the U.S.