Asian American families disproportionately keeping kids home as schools reopen: report
Asian American families around the country are disproportionately opting to keep their children home to participate in virtual learning as schools begin to reopen.
Schools across the country have recently began to open after transitioning to online learning when the pandemic hit the U.S. hard last March and continued spiking in different areas of the country in the past year. Many schools are giving families the option to have their children continue virtual learning or take part in in-person classes.
But according to The Washington Post, Asian American families are opting not to send their children back to school for in-person lessons.
In New York City, for example, Asian American students make up 18 percent of the classroom, but only 12 percent went back to in-person learning, The Washington Post reported.
Less than half of Asian families in Nashville, Tenn., opted to learn in the classroom, compared to two-thirds of their white peers.
Similarly, in Chicago, two-thirds of white children have opted for in-person learning compared to one-third of Asian American children. And in Fairfax, Va., 30 percent of Asian American families have chosen to send their children back to school, according to the Post.
According to the Post, similar patterns are also emerging in Minnesota, California and Pennsylvania.
The news comes as the rate of violence against Asian Americans has increased across the country in the past year, with more than 3,000 hate incidents reported since the start of the pandemic. Democratic lawmakers and critics of former President Trump have attributed the rise in hate crimes to anti-Asian rhetoric to describe the coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China.
One Columbia University adjunct professor and civil rights attorney, Liz OuYang, said that attacks on Asian communities in the U.S. have made people apprehensive to set foot outside their homes, according to the Post.
Others fear for their child’s safety to send them alone to commute to school.
The Post also noted that there are a large number of Asian Americans in the medical field and sending their child to school might be dangerous if the child gets infected. Infected family members would expose the doctors, nurses and caregivers to the virus as well as their patients.
The report from the newspaper comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) joined Asian, Black and Hispanic leaders in February denouncing anti-Asian attacks.
The U.S. has increasingly ramped up states’ access to the coronavirus vaccine. President Biden said earlier this week that the U.S. will have enough vaccines for every adult in the country by May, two months earlier than previously predicted.
Biden has also asked states to prioritize teachers as his administration has committed to reopening schools.
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