Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and More Than 20 Community Groups Call On LA Unified School District to Address Anti-Asian Hate
Parents and Students Express Concerns about Returning to School In-person
Los Angeles, CA (May, 24, 2021) - Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles (Advancing Justice - LA) and a coalition of more than 20 community organizations gathered on the front steps of LA Unified School District (LAUSD) headquarters in downtown Los Angeles to call on the school district to step up efforts to prevent anti-Asian sentiment, violence and hate among students, teachers and staff.
“Our communities are hurting and we need to know we can count on the school district to take the necessary steps to ensure our students have a safe and nurturing place to learn,” said Donna Tang, Education Equity Coordinator at Advancing Justice - LA.
There are reports of Asian American, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Arab, Middle East, Muslim and South Asian (AMEMSA) parents choosing to keep their children home rather than send them to school because they are concerned about their children’s safety. LAUSD serves more than 40,000 Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander students
“Every parent, regardless of background, should not have to fear bullying and harassment of their kids, especially at school,” said LAUSD parent Jonathan Tiangco.
At today’s gathering, the coalition of AANHPI AMEMSA groups encouraged representatives from LAUSD to continue working closely with community leaders and act now to implement the following:
- Working in partnership with AANHPI AMEMSA community organizations to design and facilitate trainings specifically designed for staff and teachers;
- Ensuring the trainings are prioritized and well attended through directives and incentives; and
- Establishing protocols for reporting and addressing incidents of anti-Asian sentiment of any kind that are centered around mental health and social-emotional support services over punitive actions or policing.
More than 6,000 firsthand complaints have been reported since March of last year, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a community group that tracks incidents of racism and discrimination against Asian Americans. In addition, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino examined police data from 16 jurisdictions across the country, finding a 164 percent increase in reports of anti-Asian hate crimes in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the same period last year. In Los Angeles, there was an 80 percent increase.
“As the second largest school district in the U.S. with one of the largest Asian student populations, LAUSD must serve as the standard bearer on this critical issue facing our communities ,” said Manju Kulkarni, executive director at Asian Pacific Policy and Planning (A3PCON) and Co-Founder of Stop AAPI Hate.
In light of the growing wave of anti-Asian acts, AANHPI and AMEMSA community leaders are also calling on LAUSD to reaffirm its 2019 commitment to disaggregate student ethnic data to better support the unique social and emotional needs of students. The collection and reporting of disaggregated ethnic data is a necessary tool for more accurately representing and understanding who students are, how they are performing, and how the school district’s resources can be more equitably distributed
In May of 2019, the LAUSD School Board unanimously passed the “Everyone Counts” resolution and the new enrollment system is in place. However, to date only one percent of LAUSD students have been enrolled using the new platform.
"Today, we reaffirm support for the AANHPI AMEMSA communities and stand with them against anti-Asian hate and the call for change. Love is our superpower and diversity is our strength. We look forward to the continued collaboration between community partners and LA Unified to ensure full implementation of the Everyone Counts resolution."
The diverse coalition of more than 20 AANHPI AMEMSA organizations that have organized to collaborate with LAUSD to ensure the needs of AANHPI AMEMSA students are fully addressed include groups from education, labor, faith and social justice. The coalition came together in 2019 resulting in LAUSD’s passage of the “Everyone Counts” resolution calling for the disaggregation of ethnic data. The coalition organized again recently to collaborate with LAUSD to find appropriate solutions to address anti-Asian hate.
The coalition of community organizations include:
- Act to Change
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California
- Angelenos Organizing 4 Education (AO4E)
- APIs Mobilize
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA (AAAJ-LA)
- Asian Americans for Housing and Environmental Justice (AA4H)
- Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON)
- Asian Youth Center (AYC)
- Center for Asian American United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE)
- Educating Men with Meaningful Messages (EM3)
- Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
- Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE)
- Korean American Coalition - Los Angeles (KAC)
- Korean American Family Services (KFAM)
- Leadership Education for Asian Pacific (LEAP)
- National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, Los Angeles (NAFCON-LA)
- National Pacific Islander Educator Network (NPIEN)
- Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA)
- Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA)
- South Asian Network (SAN)
- Teach for America (TFA) - Asian American and Pacific Islander Alliances
- United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)