According to Philadelphia’s Inquirer, fights and rumors of slights triggered the Dec. 3 racial violence at South Philadelphia High, a retired federal judge’s report, released February 24, concluded. On Dec. 2, there was an in-school confrontation between African American and Asian students and rumors that a popular, disabled African American student was attacked by a group of Asian students. Judge James T. Giles said he was not able to determine whether the African American student was, in fact, a victim or an attacker, but that rumor and others were enough to fuel tensions the next day. On Dec. 3, a number of Asian students were attacked by African American students during the school day and afterward. A number of students required hospital treatment. The judge concluded that race or ethnicity “were contributing factors” in all the Dec. 3 attacks on the Asian students. Twenty alleged attackers have been suspended while others may face criminal charges, Giles said.

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