Asian students call an end to boycott

    Dozens of Asian students are back in class Wednesday after an eight-day boycott protesting school violence at South Philadelphia High School. The students decided to return to school after a more than two-hour meeting Tuesday night with schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

    Dozens of Asian students are back in class Wednesday after an eight-day boycott protesting school violence at South Philadelphia High School. The students decided to return to school after a more than two-hour meeting Tuesday night with schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

    The students say they are “suspending” the boycott, leaving open the possibility of a future walkout if they feel safety at the school is not improved.

    The boycott began December 4th, the day after about two dozen immigrant Asian students were beat up by their African American peers. The students say the district and school officials turned a blind eye to a long history of racial violence at South Philadelphia High School.

    Helen Gym of Asian Americans United described the student’s meeting with Ackerman as “pointed.”

    Gym: They’ve continued to minimize the situation, downplayed the incident, refused to talk to students and their families, refused to communicate with community leaders. So I think what people saw in the last ten days is a microcosm of this broader picture of an apparent indifference to serious concerns about school violence.

    Ackerman announced a series of reforms on Friday, including more security cameras, police officers, and an additional principal. The district has suspended 15 students as a result of an investigation.

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