Policymakers see a range of reasons for the harassment, including language barriers faced by some Asian American students and a spike in racial abuse following the September 11, 2001 attacks against children perceived as Muslim.
"This data is absolutely unacceptable and it must change. Our children have to be able to go to school free of fear," US Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Friday during a forum at the Center for American Progress think-tank.
The research, to be released on Saturday, found that 54 percent of Asian American teenagers said they were bullied in the classroom, sharply above the 31.3 percent of whites who reported being picked on.
The figure was 38.4 percent for African Americans and 34.3 percent for Hispanics, a government researcher involved in the data analysis told AFP. He requested anonymity because the data has not been made public.
The disparity was even more striking for cyber-bullying.
Some 62 percent of Asian Americans reported online harassment once or twice a month, compared with 18.1 percent of whites.
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