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Sex, lies and the Internet: The tale of Lena Chen | Al Jazeera America

"Caveat" - Gao and Wang[Duke University Slam Team]

Caveat to the White Boy that Sucker-Punched My Baby Brother on Our First Day in Brooklyn and Hissed ‘Me So Horny’ Instead of Apologizing

Nov 5

Community mourns teen who took his own life

Tragic news out of the San Diego area… In Chula Vista, friends and classmates are in shock, mourning the death of of a high school student jumped who committed suicide on Friday night: Vigil held for South Bay teen who took his own life: Friends say teen was victim of bullying.

17-year-old Steven Liu, a senior at Otay Ranch High School, jumped to his death from a pedestrian bridge near campus. According to friends, he was well-liked and was an exceptional athlete, but some say he was also often picked on, suffered from low self-esteem and could be hard on himself.

Witnesses say they saw Liu crying on the ledge of the bridge before falling to his death:

“I told the person who I was with … that kid’s going to jump,” said Aaron Bianco. He was there driving near the bridge when he spotted the teen he says moments before was on the ledge crying.

Bianco described what happened next.

"The police officer I was with started first aid immediately," he said. "To be honest, it was obvious nothing was going to work."

He says he saw Liu’s mother on the scene within seconds, alerted that Steven was at the bridge.

"She was wailing like I guess any mother would … wailing on the ground," said Bianco.

Many classmates have speculated that bullying drove Liu to take his own life. Both Chula Vista police and a spokesperson for the school district have said that “personal circumstances” were a factor, but they do not believe bullying played a role in his death.

More here: Chula Vista teen’s suicide rattles friends.

Are you struggling with thoughts of suicide? There is help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Combating Stereotypes:

Yesterday I was blessed to be a part of a video project of AALEAD, an organization based in DC that supports low-income and underserved youth, where some awesome kickass high schoolers were talking about stereotypes and how to react to them.

I told a couple anecdotes in my interview about how I never really handled racism or stereotypes in…positive ways. I use the ellipse because although they were positive for me in my development as a strong woman, they’re not what I recommend preteens and teens doing.

For example, in sixth grade I remember some high schoolers making fun of how I didn’t have developed breasts. First off, EW why are high schoolers targeting a sixth grader in a sexual manner?! I ended up picking up a rock and flinging it at them, striking one boy in the head. I went home and told my mom, expecting some kind of punishment. Instead I got a stern look but a gentle “good for you for standing up for yourself.”

I also tried to break peoples’ expectations and stereotypes about Asians in my own special way. While I was a bright kid, I was angry that people assumed it was only because of my race. So I intentionally failed classes and tests to “prove my point”. Not sure how I ever graduated high school, to be honest. Ha!

Like I said, not exactly the best two ways to react to being stereotyped.

How do you combat stereotypes? What would you tell a high schooler who’s facing harassment and stereotypes?

maasufightsback:

Share your story with us please at advocacy@maasu.org! STAY FIERCE! 

titotito shares his thoughts on bullying. SO MUCH LOVE, TITO <3

maasufightsback:

                                        Anti-Bullying Campaign

MAASU would like to give you the opportunity to have your voice heard by sharing your personal experiences of bullying. All you need to do is record a short video clip telling your story. In your video, feel free to share your name and what school you go to. If you do not feel comfortable talking in front of a camera, or simply want to remain anonymous, you can write us an email about your experiences, and we will make sure that it remains confidential. Once you have your video clip or written story, please email it to advocacy@maasu.org and it will be posted HERE! Also, like us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/MidwestAsianAmericanStudentsUnion?fref=ts, and follow us on Twitter: @MAASUFightsBack

In order to progress, we must create a sense of unity amongst the Asian community, and it all starts with YOU!

Thank you so much for your participation in this campaign! 

Here are some links to some of the topics mentioned, as well as other relevant cases:

Harry Lew: 
http://main.aol.com/2011/09/09/harry-lew-suicide_n_955381.html

Danny Chen:
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/danny_chen/index.html

David Phan:
http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/blog/archive/2013/01/david-phans-suicide-sparks-grief-anger-and-call-justice

Teddy Molina:
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/04/10/11118720-family-bullying-by-wolf-pack-led-to-texas-teens-suicide?lite

- MAASU (maasu.org)

May 7

maasufightsback:

Juliet shares her experiences of bullying. Thank you for sharing! This is exactly what MAASU is about. We want to create a space for Asian-Americans to feel safe and accepted.

Please send us YOUR stories to: advocacy@MAASU.org  


Like us on Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/MidwestAsianAmericanStudentsUnion?fref=ts

 Follow us on Twitter: @MAASUFightsBack

The Midwest Asian American Students Union is launching an anti-bullying video campaign! Feel free to submit yours to either their tumblr, their email, or to me and I will pass it along. Tag it with #MAASUFightsBack on Twitter and Tumblr!

Here’s my video.

Utah family hopes son’s suicide buries bullying

h2wong:

Utah family hopes son’s suicide buries bullying
Taylorsville • They say school officials didn’t handle teen’s situation properly, hope his legacy keeps other gay students from ending their lives.

Inside their Taylorsville home, the family discussed for the first time the last moments of their youngest son’s life and what they hope his legacy will be: helping gay students, especially those from minority cultures, handle bullying and better training for educators in dealing with gay youths.Taylorsville • Before 14-year-old David Phan grabbed the 22-caliber pistol loaded with a single bullet and shot himself, he had been suspended from Bennion Junior High, perhaps for bringing a condom to school, the teen’s parents said Saturday.

The parents said district officials mishandled the situation from the beginning, starting with statements made by district spokesman Ben Horsley, who described the teen as having “significant personal challenges on multiple fronts.”

John Mejia, legal director of ACLU of Utah, wrote a letter this week on behalf of the Phan family to Granite School District Superintendent Martin Bates.

“David’s parents have expressed deep concern that since the tragic incident, Granite School District officials, and particularly district spokesman Ben Horsley, have been extremely inappropriate in their public statements about David and his family,” Mejia wrote in the Dec. 12 letter. “We urge you to immediately cease and desist from any further release to the public of any information about David and his family.”

On Nov. 29, the day David committed suicide, his mother, Phuong Tran, said she was called at work by the principal, who informed her David had been suspended. When she arrived and asked for an explanation, Tran said school officials brushed her off, perhaps because of her heavy accent.

Here is what she understood: Another student had complained — had David made a sexual overture? — and when district officials searched David’s backpack, they found a condom, Tran said.

“I asked [the principal] why he was suspending my son,” Tran said. “He told me: ‘We will discuss on Tuesday.’”

Nhuan Phan, the teen’s father, added: “We have a right to know as parents. Nobody told us anything.”

Afterward, Tran took her son home, asked him if everything was all right and if he wanted lunch. After being reassured by him, she returned to work.

They were the last words between the mother and son.

Later, she found a suicide note in his room that read: I had a great life but I must leave.

David walked back to school after his mother left, reaching the pedestrian bridge leading to the school’s campus shortly after 3 p.m. and shot himself as his peers watched in horror.

The family said David’s feelings of desperation could have been building. On the day before he died, during Bennion Junior’s holiday fundraiser, David got a “singing” telegram from a boy, provoking laughter among the students, his parents’ said. While David laughed along with them, his cousin said he was mortified.

David had come out to his older brother and other family members about a year ago, then about three months ago to his mother, and finally, to his father.

David’s family described him as an avid outdoorsman who worked at local gun shows, practiced at local firing ranges and wanted to serve his country in the Army.

Phan remembers how he hugged his son when David told them he was gay and told him he loved him and wanted him to be safe.

After the boy’s suicide, the parents said they felt they were trapped in a revolving door. Inside it, spinning with them, was the death of their youngest son, all the sadness, horror and questions. Outside, was the media storm of questions and school officials’ offensive responses.

They were confused about a statement released by district spokesman Ben Horsley the day after the suicide: “Counselors have further remained in close regular contact with [the boy] because of other issues in his personal life. Despite specific personal inquiries, [the boy] never reported any further bullying concerns and, on the contrary, reported that things were going well.” But David’s parents said they knew nothing of counseling, beyond that given to students about future careers.

“Why didn’t they tell the parents? Don’t they have a right to know?” said Phan, tears running down his face.

On Saturday, in response to a question from The Salt Lake Tribune about whether the school was obligated to inform David’s parents that he was seeing a counselor, Horsley clarified that it was a guidance counselor, not a mental health specialist.

“As an educational entity, our guidance counselors are not licensed for these types of [mental health] services,” Horsley said. “When needed, we make notifications to the family.”

He declined to elaborate on his earlier comment about David’s “significant personal challenges on multiple fronts,” saying the district was withholding that information “for the family’s privacy.”

Now, the Phans and their relatives are talking about the legacy of their son and brother, who they describe as well-loved with a strong family support system, but who could not deal with the bullying and the burden of being a gay Asian student in a school they believe did not support him.

They have enlisted the help of Steven Ha, a Salt Lake City Asian community activist, with ties to both the Vietnamese and gay communities. Ha said he will introduce the Phan family, who want to learn more, to local gay activists and assemble a group to address several issues, primarily suicide prevention for gay-ethnic youth.

“We’re not interested in suing but working with credible sources. That’s how we want David to be remembered,” Ha said.

Those interested in helping can email him at steven.ha.usa@gmail.com.

Ha added that he has received letters from Asian youngsters saying they feel they’re in the same situation as David and have considered suicide, too.

“We don’t want another incident like this to happen,” Ha said, as David’s parents nodded in agreement.

Over the last three years, I have grown from a victim of school violence to an empowered student activist. I’m educating myself politically through conversations with others and through engaging with my own community.

-

Dương Nghệ Lý, Looking back on racial violence at South Philly High

In December 2009, Asian immigrant students at South Philadelphia High School were targets of racially-charged attacks. Due to the school’s failure to respond, Dương and other fellow high school students organized an 8-day boycott that received national attention.

(via surnameviet)

Dec 5

David Q. Phan - Please share this post to help spread awareness of the issue of bullying and to help us fight back against bullying.

Please share this post to help spread awareness of the issue of bullying and to help us fight back against bullying. A memorial account has been set up by the family requesting that in lieu of flowers that donations can be made to Anti-Bullying Foundation: In Memory of David Phan. This account is set up with Wells Fargo and donations may be made at any branch or online in reference to the acco
unt name (Anti-Bullying Foundation: In Memory of David Phan) or using this account number: 1015981093. The family wants to make it clear that all money donated will go to raise awareness of the problem of bullying and promote the education of anti-bullying and that all funeral costs have been covered by David’s family. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3446897790003&set=a.3416562151631.113425.1797430317&type=1&ref=nf
PHAN FAMILY STATEMENT (Please Share)

"As a family, we had hoped for a private opportunity to mourn the passing of our darling sweet David. Unfortunately, in this time of unrelenting grief, we are forced to confront conflicting descriptions of what led to David’s tragic passing.

David was an adored son, beloved by his close-knit parents, older brother, and large extended family. David’s home lif
e was full of support and unconditional love. His parents are devastated to have lost their young son, who rarely left their side. Many of his peers and members of the community have confirmed that David was an amazing student and extraordinary friend.

David was an outstanding son, but he shielded his parents from the horror and negative experiences he was facing at Bennion Jr. High. The last few days have been an absolute living nightmare to learn that he was bullied in school where he was supposed to be in a safe learning environment. It is time for us to turn the hate David endured by bullies into a learning experience that will strengthen a divided community. Let us not deny the numerous accounts that David was a victim of serious bullying at school. Allow his family and friends the ability to heal by us all taking accountability and moving towards conversations and practices that will enable us to prevent other children from enduring this unbearable pain.

We would like to meet with school administrators this week to address issues we have with conflicting statements released by the school and district. . We don’t wish to relive this tragedy, but we deserve honest answers so we can move forward to create effective solutions. We demand to see that an effective anti-discrimination safe zone training be required for administration, faculty and staff who will then be able to pass down and model this crucial knowledge to students and the entire community. We don’t want David’s life to be tarnished as a bullied kid who was pushed to the limit. David exuded love when his bullies showed nothing but ignorance and fear. He was raised with compassion and understanding with a goal to contribute to society. We miss his beautiful smile, his exceptional personality and his witty sense of humor.

We encourage David’s friends, peers and community members to come forward with information to their school administration in order to empower our youth and create safe places in our schools. Please report bullying when you see or hear it. The love that David taught us should leave a legacy where we unite in a common goal to eliminate bullying.

In lieu of flowers, an account has been set up at Wells Fargo under The Anti-Bullying Foundation in memory of David Phan. All donations will go towards anti-bullying education and outreach. All funeral expenses have been covered by David’s family.

Today we’re honoring David’s life and his parents miss him terribly. We ask the media to please respect the family’s privacy. We will not be answering any questions at this time. Thank you for respecting the family’s wishes.”

Thanh-Tung Than-Trong
Phan family spokesperson