Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Friday, April 16, 2021

Asian-American Parents Sue The Department of Education For Harassment and Racial Bias

 Members and supporters of the Asian-American community  attend a "rally against hate" at Columbus Park
 in New York City on March 21, 2021. Three massage parlors around Atlanta were targeted March 16, 2021,
and a 21-year-old suspect was arrested. Robert Aaron Long faces eight counts of murder and one charge of aggravated
© ED JONES, AFP via Getty Images

As a parent of two children who were students at Stuyvesant High School 1999-2008, I can say that I did not see any racial inequality among the students nor parents....until Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Sumitake Nakazato became Co-Presidents of the Parent's Association in the fall of 2007, and Paola De Kock, a parent and also an Attorney, attacked the Chinese parents for citing financial mismanagement.

This is Paola De Kock's Linkedin page:
It is incomprehensible to me that the NYC Department of Education made her Director of the Office of  Family and Community Engagement in 2013, where she still is today, I assume.

Parent Mary Lok was the most outspoken of the Chinese parents at Stuy., and we decided that we just were not going to buckle under the assault of the Executive Board. Mary and the other parents in the Chinese or Asian parent groups came to me as Editor of the Parent Association Newspaper "PA Bulletin" and asked for my help in uncovering information on missing PA money (more than $300,000).

I decided to run for PA President with Mary Lok, to see what would happen. It was war. The white-skin parents (sorry, but I have to describe them that way) attacked me and Mary consistently. I despise hate crimes against anyone, any group, at any time. Nonetheless, I ignored the bullies. However, Mary was very upset. I remember one day in the cafeteria at Stuy right before the PA meeting began, I and Mary were sitting together, and Paola De Kock came over to us and told Mary that she had to leave, she was not welcome. I suggested that Paola stop the nonsense immediately. She didn't, and then told me to leave too, or she would get school security. I took out my press pass and my cell phone, and told her that she should re-think her statement, as I was calling all the local news stations as well as the Daily News and NY POST.

She went away.

I wrote about the attacks Mary Lok and I experienced at Stuy, and the actions of NYC Law Department Attorney Jane Gordon, who agreed to the harassment:

Stuyvesant High School Parents' Association is Cited For Financial Fraud and Discrimination

September 11, 2002, a Year Later, But a Minute Away For Stuyvesant High School Students in New York City

New York City should be proud of the recognition given to Specialized High Schools that admit anyone of any color, race, or creed, who need an extra hard curriculum because of their Gifted and Talented status. Indeed, the kids who I met over the years who were friends with two of my four daughters in Stuyvesant, all were exceptionally smart, but also young people who worked very hard when it came to learning, writing, and research. I am in support of keeping the test, the SHSAT, and keeping the high standard that the Specialized High Schools value in educational accomplishment.

Three of my children were in the DELTA Honors Program inside Booker T. Washington MS 54. Delta was one program in the building, when my kids were there the school had 5 programs. The DELTA students had a very rigorous curriculum and many different teachers specializing in certain areas - math, science, etc. The other programs did not have these teachers and did not receive the same curriculum. Why? In fact, I investigated what was happening, after I became aware that the kids in the programs other than DELTA were told not to take the SHSAT test for the specialized schools. I took parents on the Executive Board with me as we canvassed District 3 on the Upper West Side, and we spoke with parents about whether or not their 8th grade student was taking or had taken the test. 99% of the parents were Black/Hispanic, and all said that the Guidance Counselor told them the SHSAT was not for them. 

This was shocking. 

Instead of erasing these educational opportunities for kids, let's re-design the curriculum at all schools inside the NYC Department of Education so that all classes in every school have the same G&T curricula, with supports for students who need extra help meeting the high bar of achievement. Dont the naysayers to keeping G&T programs promote the slogan that "All children are gifted and talented"?

We need more of these schools, not less or none. We should set the standard higher for everyone, and help every child get there.

 City Has Lost Contact With 2,600 Students Since MarBetsy Combier

Asian-American Parents Sue New York City Schools Alleging Harassment, Racial Bias

Activists say Education Department’s diversity agenda often overlooks Asian students

Wall Street Journal, 

 Depositions will soon begin in a case in which five Asian-American parents of New York City public school students are suing the city’s Education Department, claiming they were harassed while protesting against the proposed changes to the agency’s gifted and talented admissions process.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status and names Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department, claims that at a DOE town hall meeting in Brooklyn in February 2020 about the controversial gifted program, the agency “treated Asian-Americans differently from non-Asians by prohibiting, restricting and/or limiting Asian-Americans’ access” to the meeting.

The parents and their co-plaintiff, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York, also allege that they were unfairly detained in retaliation for protesting outside the building before the meeting. Depositions are scheduled to begin next week in the case, which was filed in January.

Plaintiff Siu-Lin Linda Lam was “physically grabbed by police officers and school security agents and prevented from going inside the school building,” according to the group’s lawyer, Laura Barbieri.

DOE spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said no one was denied access to the meeting on any discriminatory basis.

She said the DOE’s goal is “making our public schools safe and inclusive for every student,” saying Asian students “need our support now more than ever, as we continue to deepen our work against racism and injustice.”

Students have to pass a test to be admitted to the city’s gifted and talented programs and selective high schools. Critics of the admissions tests have said that Black and Hispanic children are underrepresented in these programs because white and Asian families have more resources to pay for tutoring and navigating the programs’ complexities.

Since 2018, many of the clashes described in the lawsuit have centered around access to gifted elementary programs and the agency’s failed attempt to persuade state lawmakers to abolish an admissions test for elite public high schools like Stuyvesant.

Plaintiffs in the case say that the DOE’s diversity agenda often overlooks Asian students, as most of the Asian students in the DOE system are low-income and families are contending with the rise in crimes directed toward Asian-Americans.

Lucas Liu, a Chinese-American, sees the attempts to change the admissions process for the gifted classes and selective schools as an intentional effort to reduce the number of Asian students in the programs.

He cited a 2019 report from the city’s Independent Budget Office, which found that under Mr. de Blasio’s 2018 proposal to scrap the entrance exam for New York City’s elite high schools, the number of Asian students admitted would have dropped by half, to about 31% of offers. Offers to white students would have remained relatively flat.

Stuyvesant High School is a specialized school in Manhattan.


“Our goal is to reduce barriers, increase access and transparency, and introduce more diversity which benefits all students,” Ms. O’Hanlon said.

Asian students represent about 16% of the district’s enrollment and 54% of the students in the city’s specialized schools. About 68% of Asian students in the district live in poverty, compared with 83% of Hispanic students, 77% of Black students, and 42% of whites, according to DOE data.

Write to Lee Hawkins at

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the April 15, 2021, print edition as 'Parents Sue Over Admission To Program.'

Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York:
CACAGNY Calls Out DeBlasio for Scapegoating Asians in Specialized High Schools

(CACAGNY Activities)
CACAGNY Joins Lawsuit to Stop Discrimination Against Asians in Specialized High Schools (Brief Video)

CACAGNY Denounces Critical Race Theory as Hateful Fraud (For mobile: HTML)

OANN 3/23 Federalist 3/15 Newsweek 3/9 Epoch Times (English) 3/7

MBNC News 3/5 Washington Times 3/5 Asian Dawn 3/3 DailyFriend 3/1

石山角度 2/27 Epoch Times 2/27 Epoch Times 2/26 Fox News @ Night 2/26

Ingraham Angle 2/26 Daily Wire 2/25 Epoch Times (English) 2/25 Fox News 2/25

India Times Post 2/25 KCUE 2/25 RT 2/25 South Asian Express 2/25

ArabNews24 2/24 Bacon's Rebellion 2/24 Twitchy 2/24 Washington Examiner 2/24

CACAGNY and NYCRA Rally for the SHSAT

CACAGNY Joins Lawsuit Against DOE, Carranza, NYC, de Blasio, Others

Wall Street Journal 4/14/21 China Press 10/27/20 Epoch Times 10/30/20

New York Daily News 10/27/20 World Journal 10/28/20 World Journal 10/27/20
Actual Event of 2/4/20 at James Madison High School

CACAGNY Opposes Return to Racial Spoils in California (Statement) (Supporters) (Victory!)

CACAGNY Joins Appeals Court Amicus Brief Against Anti-Asian Discrimination in Harvard Lawsuit

At the Supreme Court (CACAGNY Amicus Brief 3/30 Epoch Times 3/31 Sing Tao 3/31)

CACAGNY Supports NUBC's Lawsuit Against New Jail (Continuing Story)

CACAGNY Congratulates NUBC 9/28/20

CACAGNY Urges Rejection of Referendum 88 and Racial Quotas in Washington State

Victory! (November 2019)

It's back -- and more devious this time! Deceptive Ballot Language (November 2020)

CACAGNY Participates in "Fire Carranza!" Rallies * * * * * Victory! * * * * *

>>>>> More <<<<<

Asian American activists are demanding equal civil rights, better education in schools after Asian hate attacks

Marc Ramirez
USA TODAY, March 26, 2021

Growing up, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng remembers the slurs and name-calling she and her fellow Asian Americans occasionally endured on the playgrounds of New York.

“It was just something we grew up with,” said Meng, who is now in her 40s. “We were taught to mind our own business, not to rock the boat. But what’s changed for my generation – even before the tragedy in Atlanta – is that people like me were starting to see people who look like their fathers and mothers and grandfathers getting beaten up. That really struck a nerve.”

Across the nation, such attacks, part of a rising wave of anti-Asian incidents over the past year, have shocked many Asian Americans. The March 16 slaying of eight people at three Atlanta spas, six of them Asian women, has further sparked both a sense of heightened activism from within the Asian American community and broad-based support from beyond.

The moment seems rich with opportunity. What’s to be done with this solidarity? For Asian American community leaders and activists, the answers range from creating better ballot access and greater political representation, expanding Asian American history instruction in schools and emboldening activist participation from untapped groups such as youth and the greater religious community. 

“It’s really important and meaningful that we have had such widespread support from all over the country,” Meng said. “As an Asian American born and raised here, I have never felt that in my entire life. We need to make the most of this moment.”

Anti-Asian sentiment has grown significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many in the community citing the disparaging rhetoric of the Trump administration as a factor. San Francisco-based Stop AAPI Hate, which tracks discrimination and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, tallied nearly 3,800 such incidents from March 2020 through February 2021.

More recently, results of an annual survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League showed that Asian Americans had suffered the largest spike in severe incidents of hate and harassment online.

Throughout the United States and in Canada this weekend, #StopAsianHate marches were scheduled as a response to such sentiments in places like Princeton, New Jersey; Buffalo, New York; Portland, Maine; and Calgary, Alberta.

The activism extends beyond the streets. Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth threatened Tuesday to vote against white nominees to President Joe Biden’s administration until more Asian Americans were appointed to high-ranking roles, then withdrew that threat after she received assurances the White House would do better. While Vice President Kamala Harris is of Indian descent, there are no Cabinet secretaries of Asian American or Pacific Islander descent in Biden's administration despite the president's pledge to reflect the nation's diversity.

This weekend, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was set to host a virtual conversation for the public on anti-Asian discrimination and violence with Meng and U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California. The event will be broadcast on Zoom and on Johnson's Facebook page.

“One of the interesting things I’ve been hearing is that this is the first time that Asian Americans have being asked to share their stories in their workplaces,” said Aarti Kohli, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, a national legal advocacy group. “And people are often surprised to hear the racism that their colleagues have faced. So I'm seeing a much broader recognition of the racism that has been aimed at our community.”

Frank Wu, president of Queens College, City University of New York, compares the moment to the mood following the 1982 killing in Detroit of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American mistaken for Japanese by two struggling auto workers who beat him to death with a baseball bat. The two were eventually fined $3,000 and sentenced to probation.

The resulting outrage and subsequent sense of solidarity, Wu said, crossed lines of ethnicity, generation, language and class and prompted renewed Asian American civil-rights activism. But like all movements, it eventually lost momentum.

So while many Black, Latino and Jewish leaders and colleagues have reached out to him in unprecedented partnership since the Atlanta killings, it’s crucial, Wu said, to capitalize on that unity while it lasts.

“Out of this tragedy,” he said, “there is something I always hoped for but hadn’t seen until now: Real bridge-building intentions. We just need to follow through.”

Stopping Asian hate with data and education

Making the most of the current energy was the thinking behind a “National Day of Action and Healing,” a virtual conversation conducted by Chu Friday with fellow legislators, activists and victims of anti-Asian attacks.

“We wanted to give people a tool to share with their co-workers, their bosses, their neighbors,” Meng said. “We’re hopeful it can be a spark for creating long-term partnerships. That’s the immediate next step – to have this continue.”

Among the long-term solutions Meng said she’d like to see is for Americans to better understand each others’ histories and contributions – with public education being one way to do that.

“Think about what we learned in school about the contributions of Asian Americans to American history,” she said. “Just a paragraph. I think we can make the most of this moment to expand the curriculum we’re teaching our kids.”

Stop AAPI Hate has likewise advocated for ethnic studies curricula as a means to curtail bullying, as well as community-based violence protection programs to protect the elderly and the expansion of civil rights protections to end harassment in business.

“I look forward to seeing this movement continue to grow,” said Russell Jeung, the group’s co-founder and professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.

Chu is also among those pushing two hate-related bills for Congressional approval, the No Hate Act and the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, both meant to improve tracking of hate crimes.

“These are things that should have been improved a long time ago,” Chu said, noting that the FBI relies on individual states to submit their hate-crime data, “which means that many don’t report anything. Eighteen states don’t have a mandate, and three states don’t even have a hate crime statute. We need to have change there on a national basis.”

Asians need more support services, activists say

In Atlanta, where the slayings took place, the disconnect between the Asian American community and police became strikingly clear in the aftermath, said executive director Stephanie Cho of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta. Law enforcement said the shootings were not race-driven. 

“People keep wondering, ‘How come people don’t trust the police?’ or ‘Why aren’t these incidents being reported?’ And it’s because we aren’t taken seriously,” said Cho, who has been busy juggling funerals and meeting with victims’ families. She also met with President Joe Biden, who she said pledged commitment to the community beyond the crisis during his visit to Atlanta last week.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta called on state and local leaders last week to boost crisis-intervention resources and multilingual support across mental health, legal and employment services, in addition to dealing with the root causes of race-based violence and hate.

Cho hopes the momentum can ultimately be used to persuade state leaders to mandate multilingual election ballots statewide; even as of November’s election, which saw Asian voter participation nearly double over 2016, the group was able to lobby just one county to print ballots in Korean, she said.

Raising levels of political involvement and representation is among the goals for national Asian American leaders, too.

“In light of all the things that have happened, the level of frustration is almost at a boiling point with regard to representation,” said Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, which offers training for those thinking about running for municipal or state office. “Without representation in public office, we aren’t at the table.”

The lack of representation in Biden’s administration has been even more galling, Mielke said, given Georgia’s Asian American turnout in November, an increase that eclipsed Biden’s margin of victory.

Kohli, of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, said that while having Asian Americans in political leadership roles is important, those leaders will ultimately be judged on their actions.

“The actual work that our leaders do is what will ultimately create trust in our community,” said Kohli, who counts among her priorities going forward ensuring that the needs of low-income Asian Americans are met. “Many Asian Americans are energized, and we need to leverage that energy into social change.”

Such transformation is already underway, said Russell Leong, former editor of Amerasia Journal.

Younger generations of Asian Americans not affected or unaware of the Chin case are taking to the streets – and in Oakland, San Francisco and New York, they’re helping to provide alternatives to heavier law enforcement by accompanying elderly community pedestrians as a safety measure.

Until recent events, Leong said, “a lot of young people saw organizing as posting something on Instagram or Facebook. That was the extent of political organizing. But with the attacks on women and the elderly – that’s a tangible event, and you have to walk the walk. That’s made a difference.”

Urging churches to stand up against white supremacy 

Meanwhile, calls are growing for religious leaders to take a stand against the violence. This week, the Asian American Christian Collaborative issued a strongly worded statement condemning what it described as an “evasion of responsibility” on the part of U.S. churches and denominations that it accused of perpetuating social conditions that have led to “unequal, unjust and ungodly treatment and murders of racial minorities.”

The group’s statement, signed by hundreds of faith leaders, calls on church leaders to, among other things, increase representation of Asian Americans in church leadership and to commit to educational efforts to eliminate nationalism, misogyny and xenophobia in their congregations. 

On Sunday, the coalition is organizing simultaneous prayer rallies nationwide in a show of solidarity against hate, including in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, New York, Baltimore and Atlanta.

“We felt like we needed to do something,” said Michelle Ami Reyes, the group’s vice president. “The response of the church as a whole to anti-Asian racism has been anemic.”

While Black church leaders are climbing on board, she said that larger evangelical denominations, including  the Southern Baptist Convention, or fundamentalists like Los Angeles pastor John MacArthur,  have been reluctant to embrace the fight against injustice or to suggest that the issue extends beyond their Asian American congregants.

"They say that if you as a Christian care about confronting systemic injustice and oppression that you’re just buying into neo-Marxist ideology, and you’re a danger to the church," Reyes said.

But it's not just largely white churches that have shied away from taking a stand, said coalition president Raymond Chang. Many Asian churches, he said, have also refrained from activism, a gesture he called at odds with their origins, which saw them as centers of community and advocacy for emerging immigrant populations.

“Our focus is to get Asian American Christians engaged in activism and to see that it is not contrary to the gospel or Christian faith by any means," Chang said. "That’s something we’ve lost and need to recover – to be engaged with the realities of our society.”

Next month, he said, the coalition will hold a summit in Chicago with local Asian American and Black church leaders to discuss the common issues they face and how to combine forces.

“The Christian message is one that brings people who are divided together,” Chang said. “That’s the whole message of reconciliation. But in the U.S., because our churches were established on top of a segregated society shaped by white supremacy, they've never found ways to meaningfully interact with each other.”

In calling for systemic change and organizing around public hate crimes and deaths, Asian American leaders said they’re taking cues from the Movement for Black Lives coalition, as well as from Muslim and Asian activists who dealt with Islamophobia after 9/11 and previous generations of community leaders who sought justice for Chin after his killing.

Understanding how other communities have achieved political power is always important, said Mielke, of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

“We don’t do this alone," she said. "When we talk about what is needed, it’s community-based, and whatever work we’re doing to prevent this from happening to the Asian American community, we’re also doing to prevent it from happening to any community.”

Georgia state senator Michelle Au, who introduced bills prompted by the Atlanta killings to mandate gun safety and language-specific social services, said there's an urgent need for action.

"This is the best time to take this energy and attention and turn it into something good," she said.