An investigation has been launched by the Syosset Central School District in Long Island New York after a sixth-grade student was assaulted and racially berated by some other students. The incident occurred on Thursday during recess at South Woods Middle School, reports ABC 7 News. The victim’s mother wrote on social media that her son was pushed and punched in the back and told to “Go back to your country, Asian.” Additionally, she said other students in the area shouted “COVID starter” and “White lives matter too.” The school district is 38% Asian and 50% white.
“The district acted swiftly, initiating an investigation with over a dozen interviews conducted and additional interviews taking place,” the school said in a statement according to News12. “Multiple communications with the community were sent, and a plan was initiated to build on the existing programs embedded in the K-12 curriculum to combat racism and promote inclusivity in our school community. At the conclusion of the building-level investigation, the district will review the findings and take appropriate steps to address the issue.”
According to Superintendent Dr. Thomas Rogers, an investigation into the incident found that there were multiple incidents of students being harassed, according to Patch.
“At this point, the investigation has progressed to a stage where we can share that there were multiple incidents where different students verbally expressed different types of bias and at least one of those incidents became physical,” Rogers said.
Rogers did not get specific on what kind of incidents occurred but said there was no place at the school for hatred towards Asians.
“Racism, bias, intolerance, and hate have no place here in Syosset,” Rogers said according to ABC 7 News.
Parents of students at the school met and expressed their concerns at a meeting on Monday. Rogers said the school district will work with the Nassau county Office of Asian-American Affairs on how to deal with the situation.