CEC 26 passes anti-Asian racism resolution for public schools to implement citywide

NY: Stand Up Against Asian Hate Crime Rally
Sunnyside residents hold a rally against anti-Asian hate crimes on March 6, 2021. (File photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Community Education Council (CEC) 26 has taken a stand against anti-Asian racism in its recent approval of a resolution urging for the implementation of preventative measures citywide.

On Oct. 21, CEC 26 — which covers the neighborhoods of Bayside, Flushing, Little Neck, Douglaston, Floral Park, Bellerose, Glen Oaks, Queens Village and Jamaica — voted to make mandatory anti-Asian racism measures for schools.

Some of the reasons for the resolution include a 223% surge of anti-Asian hate crimes in New York City since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, and the fact that New York City public schools have about 170,000 students of Asian decent.

CEC 26 demands that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter take the following citywide actions to prevent anti-Asian racism:

  1. Adopting the provisions of the New York State Senate Bill S6359A, introduced by Senator John Liu, citywide. The legislation would require public elementary and high schools provide instruction in Asian American history and civic impact.
  2. Implementing programs for public schools citywide to acknowledge the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage month by including appropriate lesson plans and celebrations.
  3. Providing professional development for teachers, parents and school leaders in cultural awareness of the AAPI community and its history.
  4. Expanding workshops on implicit bias training.
  5. Creating more offerings of dual-language programs and foreign language programs in Asian languages.
  6. Developing a system to report incidents of bullying for those parents whose primary language is not English.

CEC 26 believes these changes are necessary to cultivate a safe environment for those of Asian descent.

The resolution was approved with nine out of 10 members voting yes, and just one member voting to abstain.

CEC 26 recognizes that the Asian American community has endured continued bigotry and xenophobia since the founding of the nation, and the American Psychological Association has confirmed that the historical racism experienced by Asian Americans has caused suffering in the form of psychological trauma, feelings of societal invisibility and severe mental health issues.

CEC recognizes that the issue is particularly impactful for school-age Asian American students, since they are often reluctant to report bullying due to language barriers.

Earlier this year, CEC 26 parents submitted a petition to the mayor and chancellor demanding school curriculums citywide be more inclusive of Asian American experiences and contributions.