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Asian, Black Students More Likely to Report Certain Challenges During Pandemic


This week, we’re sharing some key findings from a recent report about the challenges high school students experienced during the first 12 months of the pandemic, from April 2020-April 2021. Stay tuned each day this week to learn more about what students told us.

During the pandemic’s first year, 57% of students reported experiencing at least one problem or challenge. But some students were more likely than others to experience more and specific types of challenges.

The ACT report found that Asian students experienced relatively more challenges with microaggressions (36%, compared with 19% overall), and Black students experienced relatively more challenges with discrimination (29%, compared with 15% overall).

In May 2021, President Biden signed the bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, noting the need to better protect Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities from hate crimes. AAPIs have experienced an uptick in challenges in the form of hate incidents during the pandemic: The number of hate incidents reported increased from 6,603 to 9,081 during April through June 2021, according to a report from Stop AAPI Hate. (Read ACT’s statement here.)

In addition, Black students, followed closely by Latinx students, reported more challenges relative to students of other racial/ethnic groups. Black students reported higher levels of distress than did Asian, Latinx, or white students for problems with neighborhood violence, bullying, cyberbullying, microaggressions, and discrimination.

ACT believes continued and sustained federal and local policies supporting communities of color, which are disproportionately affected by racial disparities, is critical to students’ academic progress and overall well-being, especially during nationwide disruptions such as the pandemic.

Read the previous blog posts in this series: