Return to Headlines

PSB Response to the Rise of Violence, Racism, and Xenophobia against Asian and Asian American communities

The communication below provides important information from the Public Schools of Brookline. Translated versions are available at the links below. Other translations will be available on the district website.

Dear PSB families and staff,


One of the core values of the Public Schools of Brookline is our respect for human difference. We are committed to acknowledging the diversity that makes up our community, and we strive every day to make our schools a place where anyone can feel safe and welcome. I want to remind you of these commitments as we prepare to welcome more students back for full-time in-person learning - and as acts of violence, racism, and xenophobia against Asian and Asian American communities become increasingly frequent in our nation.


The rise in anti-Asian violence across the country is wrong, unacceptable and has no place in our schools, physical or virtual.  The most shocking of these, of course, is the mass shooting that occurred last night in the Atlanta area.  We recognize that this hatred can manifest in many different ways. We ask all staff, teachers, and members of the Public Schools of Brookline (PSB) community to join us in taking a stand against anti-Asian racism.  Reach out (virtually and, eventually, in person) to your Asian American students, their families, and your colleagues to join together in affirming our intolerance for any racist words or actions. Most importantly, stand up when something is said or done that is hurtful. This will be especially important as students return to in-person instruction and interaction.


We also recognize that it is not enough to publicly denounce these incidents as they happen. As a school system we have a unique opportunity to educate our community on the nature of these events. The work we will do in PSB is not easy; It will lead to difficult and uncomfortable conversations. Nevertheless, we encourage you to continue to listen and discuss this with your families to try and make sense of these senseless acts. It is through these conversations that we can avoid normalizing these hate-driven attacks and heal as a community. 

Our staff have and will continue to receive resources and materials to help identify and respond to racism and xenophobia. As these lessons extend beyond the classroom, we invite all students, parents, guardians, and other community members to participate in this ongoing dialogue. A list of resources on how to talk to adults and children about anti-Asian racism is available below.


The PSB, the Brookline Asian American Family Network and the Brookline Educators Union believe in the individual dignity and humanity of each and every person in our community. We embrace everyone for who they are and for what they bring to our schools and larger community.



Jim Marini
Interim Superintendent

Jessica Wender-Shubow 
President, Brookline Educators Union 

Chi Chi Wu 
Steering Committee Member, Brookline Asian American Family Network



Addressing Anti-Asian Violence and Bias

Amid the pandemic, Asian American people continue to experience racism, violence, and harassment. These resources can help you teach the historical precedents for this moment, introduce ways for students to recognize and speak up against coronavirus racism, and start conversations with even the youngest learners about recognizing and acting to address injustice. (March 2021)


A BAAFN Video Curriculum Project

During the Covid-19 pandemic, incidents of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian racism have become more frequent and overt. In schools, remote and in-person, this can take the form of bullying, harassment, Zoom bombing, racial remarks, hurtful “jokes,” even physical assaults. The effects of these behaviors and the sentiment behind them can have long-lasting, harmful effects on Asian and Asian American students and teachers, and the school community as a whole.


This is a project put together by community members, BHS alums, and current students. It was used in BHS 9th grade advisories. (January 2021)


Combating Anti-Asian Racism

An article that discusses a lesson plan from the Immigrant History Initiative that uses techniques from restorative justice practice to engage students in a healthy discussion. (November 2020)


Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Interview with Liz Kleinrock

Liz Kleinrock is an anti-bias educator and consultant based in Los Angeles, California. Smithsonian interviewed her to learn more about how addressing or ignoring anti-Asian racism in our classrooms and communities can impact student learning. She also has a TED Talk, “How to teach kids to talk about taboo topics." (April 2020)


The organizations Hollaback and Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) offer free hourlong online intervention training for bystanders who witness anti-Asian harassment and for Asian and Asian American people experiencing hateful incidents, respectively. Participants will leave the training with a set of tools and strategies for addressing anti-Asian hate.