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Firsthand Experience of Plight of Asian American Students

October 16, 1994

Diane Seo's article "Silent Minority: The Plight of Asian American Students" (Sept. 18) holds a lot of truth.

Seo's main statement is that Asian American students are often alienated from their non-Asian peers due to misconceptions about Asian youths.

As an Asian American myself, I have experienced and seen a lot of the burdens that Asian youths must deal with. There is constant pressure from Asian parents that their child must do well in school, yet on the other hand there are the expectations of peers and classmates to get more involved in social activities. The Asian youth, himself, is constantly torn by these two forces as well as by his own dreams and desires.

One solution might be to have a multicultural week every semester in school where each student befriends another of a different ethnic background. The two students would spend the week together and get to know each other.

Another idea is to have monthly teachers and parents' meetings, with interpreters, to discuss issues related to Asian students.

Asian American youths will have to play the key role to lighten their burdens. They will have to break out of their shells and stand up to their parents and peers.

A lot of the problems are brought on by their inability to speak up. Though this characteristic may have been ingrained in them through their culture, Asian youths need to overcome this so that they will be able to communicate better with their parents and their classmates. When this starts to happen, misconceptions about them will begin to be dispelled.


Rancho Palos Verdes

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