APISBMA is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting API students and community.
Thank you to everyone who joined APISBMA campaign to support the passage of Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. We look forward to continuing our efforts as Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies is an indispensable asset to the teaching of Ethnic Studies.
Asian Pacific Islander School Board Members Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting thoughtful, systematic and coordinated research, and evaluating and developing appropriate policies and practices to serve the needs of Asian Pacific Islander students and their families.
Together we will positively change and improve the educational outcomes for all students.
The Asian Pacific Islander School Board Members Association stands with all API individuals who are subject to violence, hatred and “othering.” According to the California Department of Education, there are over 750,000 Asian Pacific, Filipino and Asian Pacific Islander students who attend K-12 public schools which represents 12% of all California students. The needs of the API students are diverse and quite often overlooked.
The people of Asian descent have suffered intense discrimination since California’s earliest days, including, but not limited to, the inhumane policies and treatment toward Chinese immigrants in the Gold Rush Era, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the persecution of Filipino American workers, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and the rise in violence against Asian Muslims and Sikhs after the September 11 terrorist attacks. We must acknowledge, learn and teach this history to not repeat it as schools not only have an obligation to prepare students academically but to provide the foundation for global citizenship as well as participation in civic responsibility, and to provide inclusive curriculum that highlights API and other underrepresented communities’ histories to help students value themselves and others.
Schools must also help dispel the “model minority” myth, a stereotype that the API community is a monolithic group that erases the economic, academic, and social struggles of our diverse communities and can add to API students’ social and emotional burdens.
As we are elected officials who are the governing boards of California public school districts, our values of inclusiveness, humanity, and respect demand that we support our students and staff of Asian ancestry and the larger AAPI community in this moment of national strife as well as at all times.
APISBMA therefore condemns hatred, xenophobia, harassment and violence towards people of Asian ancestry and commits to creating a supportive, inclusive culture that fully embraces students and staff of Asian descent. APISBMA stands in solidarity with all communities that experience racism and oppression by working together to create community centered solutions that stop the violence in all communities.
Please demand that your school board pass a Resolution Condemning Anti-Asian Hatred and Violence and Supporting People of Asian Ancestry
To View a sample resolution please click here.
School Board are encouraged to adopt a resolution to condemn racism and anti-Asian Hate
By Amy Koo, CSBA Director at Large API 5/2021
As school boards across our state plan for summer learning and fall reopening, it is important to consider that for our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, we must not only address learning loss, but also trauma and fear due to xenophobia and racism against the AAPI community. There has been much media coverage about violence against the elderly and the mass shootings in Atlanta, but not as much has been covered in the media about AAPI youth.
In a letter to Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel on hate crime policies, the Korean American Bar Association of Northern California included the following story: “In March , we learned from a mom in Vacaville that her six-year old daughter was slapped during school. The reason? Because one of the children in her school heard there was a social media challenge to slap an Asian person. Your office may be aware that there was a social media challenge that spread amongst school-aged children to slap an Asian person in the Bay Area. This is happening in our Kindergartens, and it cannot be tolerated. The story does not end here, however. This particular mom is concerned that no one will take it seriously enough. She is concerned that it will be taken too lightly, that the school will perhaps simply treat this incident as a one-off. She is afraid that because no one will take this seriously, it will escalate into something more dangerous for her child.”
The statistics from the Stop AAPI Hate Youth Incidents Report are sobering. (https://stopaapihate.org/youth-incidents-report/). During a period of 18 weeks (3/19/20 – 7/22/20), 16% of the self-reported hate incidents involved youth. 82% of the youth reported being bullied or verbally harassed, 24% faced shunning and social isolation, and 8% were physically assaulted. Youth were most likely to be harassed at school (17%), in public parks (14%), and online (17%). Girls were 2.5 times more likely than boys to report hate incidents. Most disheartening is that adults were present in almost half of the incidents, yet only 10% of the time did bystanders intervene.
In the summer of 2020, the Stop AAPI Hate Youth Campaign interviewed 990 AAPI young adults across the nation about their experiences and feelings related to racism during the COVID-19 epidemic (https://stopaapihate.org/youth-campaign-report/). 77% of the AAPI youth expressed anger over the current anti-Asian hate in this nation, and 60% expressed disappointment over racism. AAPI youth who experienced racism firsthand were more likely to be concerned about their family and saddened than their peers that didn’t.
For those school districts that have reopened their schools to in person learning this school year, the most important question to ask right now is who has returned to in person learning? I had read an article about AAPI students being less likely to return to in person learning than other groups (https://www.capradio.org/articles/2021/04/09/as-students-return-to-classrooms-one-group-is-noticeably-still-learning-at-home-asian-americans/), so I asked my own school district, Belmont-Redwood Shores, to disaggregate our return to school data beyond school and grade level. I was shocked to find that our district mirrored the article’s data with AAPI students being least likely to return to school. To understand why, we would need to survey and/or conduct focus groups as a part of our fall reopening planning, so we can address those concerns as students return to campus full time. In particular, the AAPI community is not a monolithic group, so any surveys and focus groups would need to be broken down further by ethnic group as well as vulnerable student categories.
Many AAPI parents and staff have experienced racial bullying in the past, so every time another racist incident is shared on traditional media or social media, it brings back memories. My first experience with racial bullying was at the age of 5 in a public swimming pool, and I am angry, disappointed, and sad that the AAPI community is still facing hate four decades later. On the other hand, recent immigrants may be experiencing racism for the first time and not understand how to or be comfortable with getting help. As school board members, we need to listen and meet people where they are – acknowledge the emotions and feelings and lead with empathy in all of our communications and actions.
School boards can take actions now to ensure there is a positive school environment as schools reopen fully in the Fall:
I’d like to conclude by referencing a very timely panel organized by the California Asian Pacific American Bar Association, “Back to School: Preparing our Children & Educators” – this panel provides invaluable background as your school district determines the best path forward in supporting your AAPI students and families.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYqNyiSRCqY&t=76s
School Board Member at Belmont-Redwood Shores School District
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