Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Racial bias in NYC junior high school

David Andreatta:

A Manhattan junior high school has been ordered to undergo "sensitivity training" by the city Department of Education after an 11-year-old girl was bullied one too many times by racist kids.

Aurora Heim-Salgado, a sixth-grader at Wagner JHS on the Upper East Side, has been taunted, teased and assaulted by classmates because she's white, she and her parents believe.

The most recent attack occurred last week, when a 12-year-old Asian boy called her a "white bitch" and knocked her to the ground with a punch to the back, her parents said.

"My daughter has suffered because she is white," said the girl's father, Gregory Salgado. "She's picked on because she is some kind of symbol."

The racial makeup of Wagner JHS is similar to other public schools in the neighborhood, with a third of its students listed as white, a quarter listed as Hispanic, a quarter Asian and about 15 percent black.

Fed up with the beatings and insults against their daughter — and what they said was a lack of responsiveness on the part of school officials — Salgado and his wife filed a police report against the Asian youngster.

"If it was a black kid attacked by white students, it would be an uproar," Salgado added. "The school refused to accept that there is a reverse-racism problem."

Over the next 12 hours, the school suspended the Asian boy, cops gave him a juvenile-delinquency ticket, and the district superintendent ordered the school on a fast track to becoming a bully-free zone.

In the news:

Sensitivity Training For Upper East Side School


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