Asian students win bias settlement

Beaten and bullied at South Philadelphia HIgh, Asian immigrant students were credited for forcing the district to agree to provide translators and parental notification in future cases of harassment and violence, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. In addition, the district agreed not to portray victims of attacks as perpetrators or gang members.

Hao Luu, an immigrant from Vietnam, was beaten badly by 10 to 15 students who followed him after school. When his grandmother complained, the school blamed Luu for the attack, falsely accused him of being a gang member and banned from the school.

At one point, officials accused Luu of taking part in a fight in Philadelphia in 2008, when he was living in Virginia. A notice of his suspension hearing went to his family in English, a language they struggle to understand.

Luu, now 18, has not returned to South Philadelphia High, which houses a program for students learning English. Nineteen percent of students are English Learners, most of them from Asia.

Asian students complained of being targeted by black classmates. Federal investigators found the district had deprived Asian students of equal protection by remaining “deliberately indifferent” to “severe and pervasive” harassment and violence.

Via Learning the Language.

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  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    A settlement? Those blanking morons blamed the victim?????
    Why aren’t they in jail?
    I suspect we need some reinforcement classes helping public school administrators pretend to be puzzled about why private schools are getting more students.

  2. If the victims haven’t sued the administrators for libel (in their personal capacity, as fabricating crimes isn’t part of their official duties and shouldn’t be covered by qualified immunity), they should do so post haste.

    Ruining the people responsible for railroading the victims is a good way to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.  If the district pays, the public is the victim and the perps get off.

  3. Actually, in most states, school officials do not receive any sort of immunity in a court of law (which is reserved for prosecutors, police, and judges), but the USSC has ruled that only judges have absolute immunity for their actions on the bench (even if their decisions are criminal), and that police departments and prosecutors can be sued successfully for their malicious or criminal actions (Nifong in the Duke case is a classic example).

    The fact that this happened in Pennsylvania (where two juvenile court judges are going to trial on charges of violating the civil rights of juveniles and having deals to pocket huge amounts of cash, just shows that the state of PA is so corrupt as to shock the moral conscience.

    The agreement worked out with the feds may preclude action against the school district in exchange for supervision, but I doubt there is nothing to prohibit individual lawsuits against each of the persons involved in the frame-up and coverup of the truth.

    As someone once said of the legal field ‘Would you rather be right, or would you rather win’?

  4. Well, this took place in South Philly, which is a different world, which plays by different rules, which would have different solutions.

    I’d put big, beefy cops in every classroom, in the hallways, in the rest rooms, and give them baseball bats to whack anybody who looked like it would improve their attitude.

    As for realistic solutions, I don’t know. South Philly really is a different world.

  5. When I was in school, the boys’ HS coach was in charge of attitude adjustment for the rare persistent troublemaking guy; as long as the injuries were limited to bruises, scrapes and the occasional minor cut lip or bloody nose, it was all good. The most usual culprit was a 15 or 16 year old eighth grader and it was necessary only once every three or four years. Either the kid got the message and played nice in the sandbox or he dropped out; school was left for those willing to work. And the parents were publicly embarrassed. Every teacher had a ruler and used it, and this was all public school.

  6. A 15 or 16 year old 8th grader is an embarrassment, but when our school district (a few years ago) started classifying students by credits earned rather than age level, we started having a bunch of 17 and 18 year old freshmen and sophomores (fortunately for our district, no student older than 18 may enroll in a public school (they have to enroll in the adult education program, and that program costs students on a credit basis).

    I remember when discipline was enforced in the schools, they’d just kick you out, and if you didn’t want to come back, the district just didn’t care (this was before states started tying funding to actual bodies enrolled and present on a given day of the year).

  7. Bill, it’s my understanding that dropping out of school isn’t even legal.

    If I child stops attending school before the age of 18, he’s truant and can be picked up by police.

    As for actual practice, I’m not sure how it works.

    I think students who are near that age who stop going to school are just left alone.

  8. Richard Aubrey says:

    Cops have a lot to do and must prioritize. Nobody objects to that.

  9. Well, we changed our age from when a student may legally leave school from 16 to 18, but like all things, the only penalties for leaving early are idiots ideas like tying driver’s license eligibility to being in school (I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t have such nonsense, if you could pass the written exam, and the driving test at 16 prior to this nonsense, you were granted a driver’s license).

    In any case, students who don’t want to go to school will simply not go (regardless of the concept of being labeled a ‘truant’), and since juvenile offenses are sealed (for non-felonies) when a person reaches the age of 18, there isn’t much of a legal penalty (some jurisdictions arrest or fine the parent(s) if junior or jane doesn’t attend school, but in many cases, parents will drop kids off, and there’s nothing to stop them from leaving campus, since it’s not a prison).

    A student may be present at school, but unless they want to learn something, they won’t.

    I’ve personally seen kids cutting class during school hours and hanging out at fast food places, malls, etc. I used to call the attendance hotline at the school district, now I don’t bother (if they don’t want an education, that’s their problem, and not mine). When I was in school, if we were somewhere we weren’t supposed to be, a business owner kicked us out, and then called the school, so the dean was waiting for us when we got back, then we got it when we got home.

    Today, it’s a whole different ball game.