Between now and March 19th, we’ll be posting stories for you to read and to discuss on our facebook site. Read the stories from Asian Pacific students on why it’s so important to support our students academically, emotionally, and as a community.
Bullying takes a toll on students
(Story source: http://spot.us/pitches/988-are-you-picking-on-me/story, Hyphen Magazine, Helen I. Hwang)
On a cold December day in 2009, 15-year-old Trang Dang was walking home from school with her sister and eight friends, all recent Vietnamese immigrants.Dang, who is 5’9” with a medium build and a dimpled, contagious smile, asked the principal to accompany them because she and the others were terrified by the intense bullying and violence against Asian students that had taken place earlier that day at their school. Midway through the walk, the principal, LaGreta Brown, disappeared. They debated whether to stay or continue walking… they opted to try to make it home that day on their own.
They never did.
About half a block from school, a mob of at least two dozen students started chasing them. Dang was the first to be caught. She was punched in the face, shattering her glasses. “It was a quick hit and then they ran,” she said. “After I got hit, then my mind just went blank. I was crying. It wasn’t that painful, I think, but I don’t really remember. I think because I’ve tried to forget about that day.”
There aren’t many places for Asian youth to turn when bullying occurs. William Ming Liu, a psychologist and professor at the University of Iowa, explained that Asian bullying victims often feel they can’t turn to their parents because their parents don’t understand what bullying is.
Recent research suggests that young Asian Americans are facing a bullying epidemic. Last year, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education released a joint study showing that over half of Asian American teens said they’d been the subject of targeted abuse at school, versus around a third of blacks, Hispanics and whites. Bullying includes verbal taunting, physical assaults, exclusion from a peer group, spreading rumors and cyber bullying.
This year at the MN state capitol, law makers and state leaders are taking on bullying as a priority issue. Your voices and stories are needed to help ensure that bullying is addressed for all students!
Generational Conflict in Student Struggles
Marlan was born in the Philippines, where his family was very wealthy. When he was 6, his faily fled the Philippines as political refugees to the U.S., where they had to start over with nothing. He witnessed his parents struggle to put food on the table.He greatly appreciated the sacrifices his parents made to give him an opportunity to go to college. Marlan’s parents encouraged him to become a medical doctor, but never forced him to do so. Though he was good at math, he struggled with chemistry and biology classes.During his second year in college, Marlan was placed on academic probation. He became very depressed, and was eventually academically suspended.He lived in fear everyday that his parents would find out. He felt so ashamed and depressed about letting his parents down.One of his academic counselors told him, “Just change your major. It’s no big deal,” but it was a huge deal. I encouraged him to let his parents know about the situation, but he did not feel that was an option.One day I asked Marlan what his interests were – music, business, journalism, helping people? His response was as disturbing as his lack of communication with his family,”No one has ever asked me that.”
The harm done by the model minority myth.
Did it mean trying to live up to an unreasonable standard?
Students, what is life like as an Asian Pacific student?