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10.22.2010

cnn story on south philadelphia high

CNN has posted a story (currently on the homepage) on the racial violence at South Philadelphia High School. It's great that they're covering this story... nearly eleven months after the attacks on December 3, when thirty Asian students were targeted and physically assaulted -- some even sent to the hospital. Thanks for being so on top of the situation, CNN: Racial violence spurred Asian students to take a stand.

Granted, the article focuses mostly on what's happened since the attacks, particularly among the student organizers, who have been trying to draw attention to the situation at South Philadelphia High. And not just the December 3 attacks, but also the ongoing harassment and violence that led up to it:

Last year's altercation was the final straw.

Wei and 50 other students organized an eight-day boycott of the school. They wanted to draw attention to what they felt was an inadequate response by the school staff to the ongoing harassment and violence leading up to the December 3 incident.

"School should be safe," he said. "The school should be responsible for students' safety. This is important."

Bach Tong, a native of Vietnam, was one of the students who participated in the boycott. He said standing up for what he believed in helped him find his voice.

"You know, I see not everyone speak up, so I need to stand up for myself 'cause I see myself in there, I see trouble in there," said Tong, who was a sophomore at the time of the incident.

"I cannot be selfish and stay aside to watch other people fixing stuff for me. I mean, I need to stand up and [fix] stuff for myself."
I have to give some major props to these students who stood up, spoke out, and were unwilling to take any more bulls#@t from other students, the school and the district. The situation has since improved, but there's still a long way to go for South Philly High. (Thanks, Helen.)