Testimony by Ling, Rosemount, a mother with two elementary boys

Testimony by Ling, Rosemount, a mother with two elementary boys

I would like to share my personal experience with the educators and legislators in the room. The first two meant to point out that children are vulnerable to the data disaggregation bill and the third one shows how impossible to make the decision of an Asian American’s subcategorization by the “best knowledge”. 

1.About 2.5 years ago, we moved to MN from IA, since my sons play hockey. Back then, myolder one was 10. He was known by a lot of kids on the first day of school, since he was the only 5th grader who went to middle school for math. One day at recess, another kid went to say Hi to him, and said “Hi, Andrew, I know you are new to our school. Where are you from?” Andrew replied with a smile “I’m from Iowa.” That kid paused for a second, and asked again “I mean, where are you REALLY from?” Andrew replied with another smile “I see what you mean.”, he said, “I look different, I speak a different language at home. But, I am an American, just like you.” Andrew is confident, and proud of his Chinese heritage. He has always been interested in Chinese culture and history. I can’t image what would be his response if he were a more sensitive about his racial identity. 

2.This story happened to my younger one last year when he was in Kindergarten. One child inhis class pulled the corner of his eyes in front of Alex, and claimed that “Alex is NOT an American!” Alex was so confused and upset that he didn’t even tell the teacher what happened to him. He did talk to us about this after school. I had a very serious conversation with the teacher. If the data disaggregation bill is fully implemented in all school districts, more damage will be done to Chinese American children. This bill will no doubt give the “go” signal to some people to specifically call names of Chinese American children. They will feel singled out, excluded, isolated at school. 

3.This happened to me on the first of my first work. One of my co-workers asked me “are you aKorean or a Japanese?” After we talked a little bit, it turned out that my co-worker is also a Chinese. So, people of our own “race” couldn’t tell our ethnicity without talking to each other, how can school district make the decision of an Asian American’s “race”? What would be their “best knowledge”?