Bullying of Asian Pacific Americans on the rise

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SAN FRANCISCO – A new report from a White House task force says cases of bullying targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are on the rise.

The new report from the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders indicated that students have been told to “go back to their country” and others have been mocked for their facial features, physical stature, skin color, hair and style of dress. Recently arrived immigrants not fluent in English bullied for “being too Asian.” The perpetrators include peers and even some teachers.

The report released this month is based on surveys with 30 organizations, including student and youth groups, domestic violence shelters and mental health advocacy groups, according to Civil Beat. Listening sessions were also held in 29 cities big and small, including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Des Moines, Iowa.

Although Hawaii was not included, the findings dovetail with local data compiled by the Hawaii Department of Education: percent of Native Hawaiians and 17 percent of Filipinos in Hawaii high schools in 2015 said they had been bullied. The numbers for those same groups more than doubled in middle schools.

“Every day, kids of all ages experience bullying in schools across the country,” stated Doua Thor, the executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“In the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, this problem is often compounded by cultural, religious and linguistic barriers that can make it harder for AAPI youth to seek and receive help.”

Thor added, “Anecdotal evidence has shown that certain AAPI groups – including South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Micronesian, LGBT, immigrant, and limited English proficient youth – are more likely to be the targets of bullying. And in some areas, bullying of AAPI students can be shockingly common.”


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