STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF SAN DIEGO ASIAN AMERICANS FOR EQUALITY
Good morning. My name is Frank Xu, and I am the President of San Diego Asian Americans for Equality Foundation (SDAAFE).
SDAAFE is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering Asian Americans to win equal opportunity and justice through active participation in civic and public affairs in San Diego County. We also have the largest nonpartisan Asian American PAC in San Diego, with over 1700 email subscribers.
Over the past several weeks, we have been working hard to unite Asian Americans to voice our concern about the San Diego Unified School District’s decision to enact its “anti-Islamophobia” bullying prevention program. We believe that the program is unconstitutional because it is not fair and equal to all students of religion.
Students of all faiths face daily bullying, but instead of protecting all religious students, the School District has selected Muslim students to receive special protection and resources. Therefore, as a minority group, we are deeply disappointed with the School District’s decision to play favorites in stopping bullying, which is such an important issue that affects the well-being of all students. We Asian Americans come from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. SDAAFE values diversity and advocates for a true equal and accepting society. We hope all students feel welcomed on campus. We are concerned that singling out one group may alienate this group further from the rest of the students, thus defeat the purpose.
SDAAFE firmly supports the constitutional standard that the government should not be used to select a particular religion for favorable or unfavorable treatment. That is why we have teamed up with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund to challenge the School District’s discriminatory program. Under the pretense of protecting Muslims from bullying, this program would achieve the real effect of dividing our students into contentious subgroups for different treatment.
Therefore, the solution to stop the bullying of Muslim students is not to give them special treatment or favored status. The way to stop the bullying of Muslim students is to stop bullying altogether, regardless of religion or race.