The task force is part of a federal inter-agency initiative on hate crimes formed in November 2014, which includes the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice.
“The AAPI Bullying Prevention Task Force’s findings shed light on the important need to address bullying in the AAPI community,” Doua Thor, WHIAAPI executive director, told NBC News. “We learned that students from all AAPI groups are subject to bullying of all types, based on circumstances such as limited English proficiency, cultural stereotypes, religion, and religious attire. However, there’s opportunity for all of us to work together to further build upon the resources available, tailor outreach to this community, and implement real solutions to combat bullying of AAPI youth.”
Over the past two years, the AAPI Bullying Prevention Task Force has met with community stakeholders, hosted 29 listening sessions across the country with Asian-American and Pacific Islander students from kindergarten to college, and conducted an informational survey of 30 community organizations and advocacy groups.
Some of the task force’s findings include that students from all AAPI communities experience bullying and harassment; AAPI students are bullied by students of their same ethnicity, by other AAPI students, and by students of other races; some of the triggers for AAPI students to be bullied include limited English proficiency, cultural stereotypes, national origin, immigrant generation, religion, and religious attire. Many AAPI students and their parents do not know about resources and remedies available to them, the report found.
The task force also collected suggestions on how to decrease bullying of AAPI students, including creating a school atmosphere that values diversity, developing school programs for bullying prevention and cultural awareness, providing cultural and language support for families, and increasing federal communications and outreach.