By Randall Yip, AsAmNews Executive Editor
An 8-year-old boy sat on a school bus as a ten year old sitting nearby began chanting “ching chong wing wong” directly at the Vietnamese American child in a mocking matter.
The taunting continued all the way home even as the child asked the other to stop.
The mother of the victim told AsAmNews the incident happened January 30 in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, a district with a sizable Asian American student population.
On Monday, the Texas-based civil rights group Woori Juntos spoke at a school board meeting on the family’s behalf. Woori Juntos is affiliated with the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium.
“By not condemning these racist actions, they are complicit in its continued usage and harm to students,” said Sarah Syed, Senior Community Organizer of Woori Juntos. “Asian children or any children as young as 8 or 11 should not have to bear the burden of having to address racist harassment by telling others just to stop. This is not an isolated incident of racism, but one of institutional systemic racism that must be addressed.”
Syed told AsAmNews the mother was unable to attend the meeting, so it agreed to read the statement on her behalf.
“Our biggest message is we want to amplify the mom,” she said.
AsAmNews reached out to the school district this morning, but it has not responded to our request for comment.
The mother of the boy, Au Nguyen, says this is not the first time her children have been racially taunted. She also has a second boy, age 11.
She said the same thing happened to her boys during a Fun Fair Positive Soccer League game several months ago. The opposing team began to chant racist chants at her boys, the only two Asians on either team.
Both Nguyen and her husband approached both coaches, but even as they were alerting them, the opposing team continued to hurl racist slurs at the boys.
“I believe the change has to come from the school district,” she said Nguyen during a phone interview with AsAmNews. “The school district needs to condemn this. There’s a history of slurs, specifically anti-asian slurs in a community with a sizable Asian American population. Use this as a teaching moment.”
She says the school did talk to the offending student and his mother, but refused to call the incident racist. Nguyen says the District has not taken any disciplinary action, saying it first needed to assess the impact of the boy’s words.
Her son attends Sue McGown Elementary School.
Texas State Representative Jon E Rosenthal plans to meet with the school superintendent about the matter next week.
This story will be updated if we hear back from the school district or others involved with this controversy.
(An earlier version of this story misspelled Sarah Syed’s name. We regret the error)
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