Attacked Asian Students: We Are Afraid

Students want more security cameras and school officers

In an effort to get the Philadelphia School District to take their claims of abuse seriously, more than 50 Asian students from South Philadelphia High School will boycott classes this week.

The drastic move comes after 30 students were brutally attacked last week at the school located at Broad Street and Snyder Avenue.

The students who are protesting met with Asian community leaders and law enforcement on Monday to urge them to put better security measures in place.

“We are afraid to get attacked! Inside school! In the bathroom, around the hallway in school,” said Yung Ly. “When my friend got attacked outside the school and the district said 'We are investigating' but they did not interview us! How can they be investigating without interviewing us? We are the victims.”

The students are specifically asking for more school cameras and school officers. They also want stricter punishments for students who attack their peers.

“If there’s an arrest for aggravated assault or assault and it’s determined it’s because of their nationality, that is a hate crime,” said Chief Inspector James Tiano.

Investigators said 30 Asian-American students at the school were assaulted last week by a group of African-American students. 10 of those students were suspended from school and sent to alternative schools.

School officials who met with the students said they have been and are working on a resolution to end the violence.

“If they boycott or didn’t boycott, I got the message. To me, the bottom line is that whenever kids get in a fight and a lot are injured I got the message. To me the most important things is to make sure it doesn’t happen again, “ said Philadelphia School District Regional Superintendent Michael Silverman.

The students plan to meet again on Tuesday at an undisclosed location.

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