It's good that the Philadelphia School District is going outside to investigate the appalling acts of racial violence at South Philadelphia High School, since they've shown themselves to be clearly not up to dealing with the problems themselves:
Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene Ackerman late today said the district is in process of hiring an outside investigator to examine what happened last week at South Philadelphia High School.
She said they hope to have someone hired and beginning their work by next week.
No real sense of urgency there, and why should there be, after officials allowed the problems of harassment and physical violence against Asian-American students there to fester for years. People are understandably outraged at the kids who committed these crimes -- I am -- but the irresponsibily of the adults who failed to protect these children is even more atrocious. Heads need to roll over this, I would include Arlene Ackerman here, whose initial response just comes off as contrived, overly defensive...and just lame. And you know who else looks very lame here: Mayor Michael Nutter. Why is he not out there in front of this issue, arguably the worst racial episode of his tortured mayorality so far?
UPDATE: Could this story get any worse?
" 'As soon as we open our mouths and speak, they treat us like we're animals,' " Ellen Somekawa, executive director of Asian Americans United quoted a Vietnamese student.
" 'Where are you from?' 'Hey, Chinese.' 'Yo Dragon Ball.' 'Are you Bruce Lee?' 'Speak English!' '' Somekawa said the students are told.
Those aren't the words of the students who harass Asians, she said.
"They are the words of the adult staff at South Philadelphia High. So stop blaming the children and start owning the responsibility."