New report reveals half of Asian American students in New York City schools have been bullied

AALDEF and Sikh Coalition release "snapshot" study of Asian American public school students.

A new report on bullying of Asian American students in New York City reveals that half of all students surveyed have been the target of bias-based bullying and harassment: New Report: Back to School Includes Bias-Based Harassment of Asian and Sikh Students in NYC.

The report, "One Step Forward, Half a Step Back," released by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and The Sikh Coalition -- their third bullying study in five years -- reveals that the city's 2008 bias-based harassment measure, Chancellor's Regulation A-832, has done little to substantially diminish harassment faced by Asian American students in city public schools.

Of the 163 Asian American middle school and high school students surveyed, 50% reported incidents of harassment. Since the last survey of Asian American students in 2009, bullying incidents have increased over 20%. The study also found significant, unsatisfactory shortfalls in school measures in the prevention and follow-up to bullying incidents.

In 2012, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), the Sikh Coalition, with help from community partners the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF) and CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities conducted a "snapshot" survey of 163 Asian American students to shed light on the current school climate in New York City public schools. This survey also serves as a follow-up to our 2009 survey on the school bullying of all New York City students, including Asian American students. We conducted the 2012 survey in afterschool programs, youth leadership meetings, and houses of worship throughout the city. Our goal was to compare and contrast the responses of Asian American students in our 2009 and 2012 surveys to assess whether progress was made in meeting the mandates of Chancellor’s Regulation A-832.

We found that more Asian American students are reporting being subjected to bias-based harassment.

Our alarming findings in New York City mirror national studies, such as a 2009 United States Department of Justice study, which found that 54% of Asian American students who reported bullying at school were bullied in the classroom itself. Outside the classroom, Asian Americans reported being bullied on school grounds at a rate 20% higher than whites and 10% higher than the next closest racial group. Finally, Asian Americans reported experiencing cyber-bullying once or twice a month, at a rate 40% higher than other racial groups.

In addition, our 2012 survey revealed that major requirements of the Regulation, such as documented follow-ups to bullying incidents, are rarely implemented. Only 16.2% of survey respondents who reported bullying to their schools received a written report from their
school, as required by the Regulation. Similarly, only 0.5% of the bullying victims surveyed reported that their parents were notified of their harassment, as required by
the Regulation.
The report does that find that city's school bullying prevention regulation has had success in making the issue of bias-based harassment more visible. It also offers recommendations to the New York City Department of Education to combat future bias-based harassment.

Download a PDF copy of the full report here.

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