Among the social issues exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic is the rise of anti-Asian violence. In February 2020, in Los Angeles, a middle school child was physically attacked and verbally assaulted in the schoolyard. He was accused of having COVID-19 simply because he was Asian-American and was told to go back to China. When he said he wasn’t Chinese, he was punched in the face 20 times.
Stop AAPI Hate, the nation’s leading coalition documenting and addressing anti-Asian hate and discrimination amid the COVID-19 pandemic, received over 2,808 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian hate incidents from 47 states and the District of Columbia between March 2020 and December 2020.
For educators who are looking for resources to address this unsettling trend, here are some expert tips for addressing anti-Asian racism and discrimination in the classroom:
REPORTING INCIDENTS AS A VICTIM OR BYSTANDER
211 LA County provides hate crimes reporting for people of all ages in Los Angeles County through the Anti Hate Reporting Hotline.
Reporting is the first step to stop hate. By understanding how and where hate is occurring, our communities can respond with appropriate resources and support. The Anti Hate Reporting Hotline takes reports (by phone or online) of hate crimes, hate acts, and incidents of bullying which have occurred within Los Angeles County; regardless of whether a crime has been committed.
There are no geographic limitations. Individuals can call (800) 339-6993 toll free or dial 211 in LA County.
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE
Because racism is complex and contentious, many of us are afraid to even broach the subject. Racial Justice in Education, published by the National Education Association (NEA), provides useful information for creating the space to talk about race in your school.
IN CLASSROOM DISCUSSIONS
The Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility has basic guidelines on how to counter biased or uninformed student responses to the novel coronavirus. The guide provides educators with language they can use to address hate incidents and an overview of the different school-based resources that can support the social-emotional wellbeing of targeted students.
Education Week interviewed five educators who are working to support Asian and Asian-American students in the aftermath of the shootings in Georgia earlier this month. Their suggestions move from more immediate responses to longer-term reforms to curriculum and coursework.
IN LESSONS PLANS
Discussions about discrimination, violence, and racism are complex. It is important to create a safe space for holding difficult conversations. Facing History has some great tips for how you can prepare your students to acknowledge one another’s complicated feelings during these discussions.
Resources that educators can use when creating lesson plans are: