News Updates – South Philadelphia High School, Amanda Knox

by Latoya Peterson

I’ve received some tips that serve to update some of the stories we have discussed on site.

In the matter of South Philadelphia High, Angry Asian Man has reported that the students have ended the boycott after a conversation with officials:

Tuesday’s meeting lasted more than two hours. Here’s the public statement put forth by the students of South Philly High School boycott:

Through our trials and struggles, we pushed the school to hear us. We have made change by standing together. We are proud of what we have done. If something happens again after all this, we know that we have strong wills and we will stand together again.

We have came back to stand with more students. We want to start a dialogue with other student organizations. We will continue to work with the community organizations. The struggle will go on until all the demands are met; we won’t give up. We ask everyone to continue to pay attention to what’s going on at SPHS. We hope that school can change their attitude for the benefits of all students. We thank our supporters. Without the support of everyone we could not go this far. We are excited for the future. We now believe in hope and change, like president Obama.

We want a safe school for everyone; we want everyone to have a good education. This is not the end, but just the beginning of the fight for better futures and better educations for all races of students.

~ Students of the South Philly High boycott ~

So it’s back to school. While the district has made a lot of assurances that it’s be taking steps to put a stop to the violence, I imagine this isn’t much comfort to the students who were on the receiving end of the attacks on December 3, or the students who have endured antagonism and apathy for years — often from the teachers and administrators. More here: Asian students ‘suspend’ boycott of South Philadelphia High.

However, in the comments to our original post, Asian Metal Chick dropped a link showing this isn’t just a problem at SPHS – it’s the whole district:

“If Chinese students don’t go to school, it’s a big problem—they don’t learn,” says Xu Lin, a Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation staffer who mentors Asian teens. “But it’s a bigger problem if they go to school and get beat up.”

Lin, 24, understands the situation. He and three immigrant friends were jumped by 15 kids outside Furness High School in 2001. Two of his friends were hospitalized as a result. It was Lin’s first day of school in America.

Similar stories vibrate throughout the city. 
[...]

A few weeks later, Jeremayah Daniel, then a 14-year old freshman at Fels, was jumped by three students who bashed him on the back of his head. They continued punching him in the face, breaking his nose and causing a concussion.

“I don’t even know them or why they did it,” says Daniel, whose Christian family fled religious intolerance in Pakistan. 
[...]

One Chinese immigrant student began experiencing prejudice in 2002 when he entered the third grade at Society Hill’s McCall Elementary School.

“Kids get in your face and say racial stuff, throw stuff at you, push you in the halls,” says the 15-year-old student, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Sometimes I can’t take it and I fight back. Then I get in trouble.”

He’s been suspended numerous times for fighting.

“Every year, I’m at the limit,” he says. “Like, one more fight and I’ll get kicked out.”

Despite the McCall student population being around 55 percent Asian, the abuses were steady—from white students as well as black, says the student who will begin high school next week.

“Some of my friends quit school and get jobs,” he says. “Sometimes younger than me.”

Another Asian McCall alum adds, “I have friends who see no future in school so they fight back, and keep changing schools.”

These kids are falling through the cracks, and the eye of the media will be off them soon. Philly readers, please keep us updated.

Reader Carrie sent in this update to Nadra’s piece on Amanda Knox, noting “no doubt if this had been Ms. Knox the media would be all over it, but as it is the poor man barely gets a blip on the CNN radar.” Rudy Guede, the third person indited on murder charges, had his sentence reduced on appeal:

One of the men convicted of killing British exchange student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, in 2007 has had his sentence reduced on appeal, a lawyer in the case said Tuesday.

Rudy Guede was originally sentenced to 30 years in prison, but the appeal court cut the term to 16 years, said Francesco Maresca, a lawyer for the Kercher family.

The reduction was based on technical calculations prescribed by the Italian penal code, he said.

Kercher’s American roommate, Amanda Knox, and Knox’s sometime-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, also were convicted of the killing, in a separate trial that concluded earlier this month.

Guede, a native of the Ivory Coast, was convicted of murder and attempted sexual assault in October 2008.

Prosecutors contend that all three killed Kercher, 21, while Knox and Sollecito’s lawyers say Guede acted alone.

Knox — Kercher’s roommate at the time of the killing — was sentenced to 26 years, while Sollecito got 25. Both will appeal, attorneys said.