The School District of Philadelphia launched an investigation into allegations of racially-motivated attacks at South Philadelphia High School.
At an open meeting Wednesday afternoon, school Supt. Arlene Ackerman vowed to end highly-publicized violence against Asian-American students at the school.
A group of 30 primarily Chinese students were attacked inside the school at Broad St. and Snyder Ave. back on Dec. 3, officials said. The students claimed they were targeted because of their race. They boycotted classes after the district said race was not a factor.
But Ackerman said a preliminary investigation showed the multi-racial beating was an act of retaliation after several Asian-American students attacked a disabled African-American student off-campus.
Asian-American students marched in protest to Wednesday's meeting at the district's headquarters at Broad and Spring Garden Sts. -- many holding signs that read "Grown ups let us down" and "It's not a question of who beat who, it's who let it happen."
"We have suffered and gone through a lot to get to America," one female student said to district officials. "We didn't come here to fight, we just want a safe environment to learn and make more friends."
Southern High has an 18-percent Asian-American population and has been designated by state officials as "persistently dangerous" for the past three years. Although, officials now say assaults have dropped by 50-percent.
Many students say they're afraid to return to the school and parents are considering transferring the kids.
"It was the response from the school and the district that has fueled the most anger in the community," Asian community leader Nancy Nguyen said. "We've seen a complete lack of moral leadership."
The district plans to continue with its investigation -- bringing in an independent investigator to determine who's at fault. They're also launching a task force -- some 50 people strong -- address racial and cultural awareness.
There is no word on whether the students will stay at the school or be allowed to transfer.