Hundred and Fifty Chinese Students Unite to Request a Guarantee
From Singtao Chinese Daily
April, 5, 2003
Dear Principal: The question of school safety hovers closely
above our heads. We all know that the school has put a lot of effort
into finding an answer for us. However, the schools security
guards have been lax in their duty to protect us, the Chinese students
... Due to unprovoked attacks upon two more Chinese students
by Hispanic classmates the day before yesterday, more than two hundred
fifty Chinese students at Flushings John Browne High School
wrote a letter to
their principal yesterday requesting serious handling of the continued
beatings and bullying, pointing out that school safety officers
have not taken any additional steps to curtail such attacks. City
Councilman John Liu held a press conference yesterday (4th) to address
what measures the school administrators must take.
Due to the recent violence against Chen Jianping by Hispanic bullies,
who is now too afraid to return to class, and also against Li Bo,
Chinese students came together to voice their dissatisfaction at
the continued violence. Their efforts resulted in Flushing Councilman
Liu paying a visit to John Browne and talking to school officials.
Chen Jianping, Li Bo and ten other students showed up at the Councilmans
office yesterday to express the concerns that they shared with two
hundred and fifty others, and also to deliver him a letter that
they had all signed. Chen Jianping said that he was extremely moved
by the support that his classmates had shown him in the aftermath
of his attack, adding that our fingers are neither pointed
at the school nor at the principal who has shown us so much concern,
but at the security officers, who have a poor attitude. In light
of this violence, we hope school officials will finally be able
to find concrete ways to ensure our safety.
The Chinese principal of John Browne, Lei Zhenzhu, told this reporter
yesterday that the school is taking Chen Jianping and Li Bos
assaults very seriously, and that, aside from considering only the
victims accounts of the events, it has launched an investigation
involving teachers, school employees, and students of all ethnicities
who have come forth to offer help to obtain justice as quickly as
possible. She added that she plans to increase multicultural awareness
among both the students and the guards to hopefully bring about
an understanding and minimize scuffles. Lei hopes that Chen Jianping
will not give up on his studies and will return to class soon, and
also help school authorities pinpoint his assailants.
After meeting with her for a second time yesterday, Councilman
Liu told reporters that the schools most pressing objective
is to nurture a bond of trust with the students in offering them
a sense of safety. The next goal should be to intensify the training
of security guards. He added that the school is not treating the
matter lightly, and will offer zero tolerance to the attackers by
expelling rather than suspending them once they are caught. However
he will allow the school some time to act, and expects some concrete
results by the middle of next week.
Chen Jianping and Li Bo, who went to the local police precinct
to file a report yesterday, said, Ours is a good principal,
and we dont wish to give her more work on top of her responsibilities
... but we also wish for a place where we can learn in safety!
Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung.
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