Asian student beaten during the south Philadelphia attacks.

No one disputes that 30 Asian students were victims of racial violence last month at South Philadelphia High School. On Jan. 6, however, there was little agreement on the reasons behind the problem, who or what was to blame, or how to prevent it from happening again, reported As part of an investigation, the Pennsylvania Commission on Human Relations called a private meeting with representatives of the Asian community. The superintendent said that she wanted the finger-pointing to stop, that the underlying problem was citywide violence and racial discord spilling over into schools. She also suggested that the trouble at South Philadelphia High might be gang-related, a theory never before voiced. Activists have accused the district of long turning a blind eye to the problems of immigrant students. The district’s fixes – including more counselors, cameras, police officers, and diversity training for students and staff – are a start, they say, but only a start. Absent were any Asian students who had been victims of the attacks or who had boycotted the school last month. The city Human Relations Commission is holding hearings, and a federal civil-rights claim is expected.

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