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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
Educators condemn AAPI violence, hate
March 29, 2021
School leaders throughout California have condemned recent violence against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.
On March 16, a mass shooting in Atlanta left eight people dead, six of them Asian-American women. While investigators have not determined a motive, the horrific killings are just the latest acts of violence and hate to occur in what civil rights groups say is a rise in anti-Asian incidents since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Other reports include Asian-Americans being robbed, spit on, verbally harassed and blamed for the coronavirus. In January, an 84-year-old Thai man was attacked on the street near his home in San Francisco and later died from his injuries.
The group Stop AAPI Hate received 3,795 reports of hate incidents since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 through February of this year, although they say the number is likely higher as many incidents go unreported. The state with the most incidents by far was California, with 1,691 reports (45 percent).
ACSA President Ron Williams issued a statement on March 24 urging action following the violence.
“It is crucial that educators intentionally commit time and resources to professional learning that provides the opportunity to deepen belief systems and aware-ness of diversity in their schools ...”
— Ron Williams, ACSA President
“These events remind us of the deep impact of racism and other forms of oppression, which can result in threats, derogatory language, violence, and in this case death,” Williams said. “We must make certain that law enforcement, legislators, responsible organizations, the media and individuals all work together toward creating a society free of bigotry and discrimination.”
Reflecting the belief that “change takes more than words,” ACSA is continuing to develop anti-racist policies through the Antiracism Taskforce, which was created last year in partnership with the California School Boards Association. The task force plans to pursue a policy agenda upon completion of its work that will have a positive impact in our school communities.
Over the coming weeks, ACSA will also be leading a movement to open dialogue on the experiences and impacts of racism. ACSA will host interactive forums and events that allow school communities to unite and be change agents for students and families.
“Right now, our students are witnessing history unfold and we encourage school staff to use this as a ‘teachable moment’ on valuing and respecting differences, managing conflict that comes with differences, as well as facilitating student participation in social justice,” Williams said in the statement. “It is crucial that educators intentionally commit time and resources to professional learning that provides the opportunity to deepen belief systems and awareness of diversity in their schools which will result in empowerment to be proactive and responsive to the needs of the school community they serve.”
Educators are reaching out to support communities experiencing racism and speaking out against AAPI racism.
San Francisco USD created a webpage to help families discuss and address anti-Asian violence, including resources for talking to children about violence and self-care tips for Asian-Americans. In a video message on the website, Edwin and Anita Lee Newcomer School Principal Victor Tam said the recent violence can stir trauma in many families and students.
“As a school leader, we know that what happens outside in the world, what happens in our country, what happens in our communities, has an effect on our families and our children,” he said. “Our kids see and feel what’s happening outside. We have to recognize that and be hyper aware of what’s going on.”

More Resources
The Making of Asian America: A History - Erika Lee Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans - Jean Pfaelzer Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown - Nayan Shah The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority - Ellen D. Wu We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation - Jeff Chang Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear - John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats The Karma of Brown Folk - Vijay Prashad Minor Feelings - Cathy Park Hong The Myth of the Model Minority - Rosalind S. Chou and Joe R. Feagin Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White - Frank Wu Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America - Ronald Takaki
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