Racial bullying roils a Philadelphia high school
PHILADELPHIA - The blocks surrounding South Philadelphia High School are a melting pot of pizzerias fronted by Italian flags, African hair-braiding salons and a growing number of Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesian restaurants.
Inside is a cauldron of cultural discontent that erupted in violence last month , off-campus and lunchroom attacks on about 50 Asian students, injuring 30, primarily at the hands of blacks. The Asian students, who boycotted classes for more than a week afterward, say they’ve endured relentless bullying by black students while school officials turned a blind eye to their complaints.
“We have suffered a lot to get to America and we didn’t come here to fight,” Wei Chen, president of the Chinese American Student Association, told the school board in one of several hearings on the violence. “We just want a safe environment to learn and make more friends. That’s my dream.”