Teens address Philly school board over assaults

PHILADELPHIA - December 9, 2009

Arlene Ackerman says the violence is serious and a symptom of a bigger problem. She's creating a task force to address racial and cultural awareness.

She spoke at a meeting of the School Reform Commission on Wednesday.

Dozens of Asian students and community leaders packed the meeting to discuss violence at South Philadelphia High School.

Students are boycotting classes after about 30 were assaulted at the school last week. They say the attacks are racially motivated.

Students and community leaders told school officials they need to pay more attention to the racial violence.

They say some staff turn a blind eye to the assaults and also disparage Asians.

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