Asian Americans joined other upset parents at a school board meeting in Fairfield, Ohio demanding that the district admit it has a bullying problem following the second high profile incident involving an Asian American student.
More than 150 parents packed the standing-room only meeting Thursday night.
Last December Emilie Olsen, a Chinese student adopted by White parents, killed herself after her parents tried in vain to get help from the district to stop bullying against her.
Now Emilie’s best friend, another adopted Chinese daughter, has been the target of bullying as well, Sato Kazuya, President of the Japanese American Citizens League in Cincinnati, Ohio chapter, told AsAmNews.
“She was intentionally tripped by a boy and got a concussion,” said Kazuya. “The school is trying to play this down. The boy was not reprimanded. If he were reprimanded, he would not be able to go to Washington DC for school trip scheduled early in November. I understand that school will give the final decision on this issue several weeks later (after the trip). Thus making the DC trip a moot question.”
“As we all know, Fairfield School District has been in denial regarding the accountability and responsibility of its role in the death of Emilie Olsen,” Shau Zavon, Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said according to WLWT.
No action was taken at last night’s meeting.
This morning, Ray and Sharon Schmitz, the parents of the Chinese adopted daughter recovering from a concussion after they say she was bullied, released the following statement to AsAmNews.
On October 5, during PE class when the teacher let the children play hockey in the gym, the girl suffered a concussion as a result of being tripped by a classmate. This boy rushed at her and stuck his hockey stick around her ankle and she fell. This incident was caught on a school security camera.
The Schmitz family is very upset that the boy who caused their daughter’s concussion is not being disciplined for this act which the assistant Principal Ernst and the resource officer Kincaid had said was intentional – more precisely, an “intentional foul” play meaning there was no reason for the physical contact because the puck was in another direction a distance away. The boy has denied the injury was intentional stating that if he had intended to cause injury he would hit harder.
Upcoming in the first week of November, the school has organized a field trip to D.C. This boy is also being permitted to attend this school trip even though the school had given all the students paperwork containing rules that stated any disciplinary action or lack of good standing in behavior would disqualify child from the trip.
The Schmitz also say that the school mishandled their daughters injury, because they just sent her on her way without referring her to the school nurse and without notifying the parents of the fall. At this time she remains on restricted activity on her doctor’s order.
Furthermore, this boy has been accused of bullying Emilie Olsen, another girl also adopted from China. Emilie shot herself in the head and passed away on December 11, 2014. The Olsen family believe she committed suicide because of bullying at school. The Schmitz girl had been a good friend of Emilie and has tried to speak up for Emilie. The Schmitz and Olsen families are friends and Raymond has spoken up for Emilie Olsen at a May 2015 school board meeting and was ejected from the meeting room as a result of his speech.
The Schmitz family believes the bully is now after their daughter. They have another younger daughter also adopted from China in the same school system. The school has not informed the Schmitz family of the consequences for this incident. At this date, the school is permitting the bully to go on the same field trip to DC and the Schmitz family is worried to death for the safety of their daughter. This leads them to believe the bully is in good standing with the school.
Nearly 200 people turned out at 6:30 PM on October 15 at the regular general meeting of the Fairfield School Board to voice their displeasure that the school administration is not doing enough against bullying About 20 people addressed the Board, some of whom were Asian Americans who are concerned that a trend and pattern of bullying is directed at Asian American children, particularly young girls. The Schmitz family wish to remind everyone that while they have two daughters adopted from China, bullying can happen to any child especially when a child because of some weakness that the bully perceives as rendering a child vulnerable or other reason that makes allows the bully to get away with the action.
Citing privacy concerns, the school administration is yet to provide a definite answer to the Schmitz family to their complaints. The immediate concern is the upcoming out-of-town field trip. The Schmitz family is being represented by Charleston C. K. Wang, Esq.
More coverage below from WCPO.
Coincidentally, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders this week launched a public awareness campaign on bullying, Act to Change
They released this video from actor Maulik Pancholy, about his own personal experiences as an Indian American and gay person of being bullied.