Dozens of Asian students were attacked and beaten in the hallways of South Philadelphia High School by a gang of other students Thursday.
Members of the South Philly Asian community say this is not uncommon, reports the Daily News.
A counselor at the Chinatown Development Corporation says 26 Asian students, many of whom are recent immigrants, were attacked in the school that has a violent history. Seven of the victims were treated at Methodist Hospital for scrapes and bruises.
District officials say 10 students were suspended as a result of the assaults, but the high school’s principal declined to comment on the incidents. School officials told NBC Philadelphia that the 10 suspended students will be transferred to an alternative school and their names will be given to police for possible criminal prosecution.
Though district officials told NBC Philadelphia they do not believe the attacks were racially motivated, Xu Lin, of the Chinatown Development Corporation, who works with victimized students, told the Daily News that Asian teens at South Philadelphia High School live in fear every day .
"It's very, very scary," Lin told the Daily News, saying that he repeatedly was beaten up when he attended South Philly High. "You go to school and you don't know when you'll be attacked."
The school, which is 18 percent Asian, has been designated “persistently dangerous” by the state in the past three years, though one district official says assaults at the school are down 50 percent from last year.
"We didn't come from China to fight," Wei Chen, who founded the Chinese-American Student Association after last year's attacks, told the Daily News.
Many of the students who were assaulted opted to stay home from school Friday.