May 17, 2011 (Washington, DC) - Last week, the Sikh Coalition testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the issue of bias-based bullying against Sikh children in the post-9/11 environment. The Commission is composed of congressional and presidential appointees. It is responsible for making recommendations to our nation's leaders about upholding our most cherished civil rights laws. This is the first time that a Sikh organization has been invited to testify in front of the full Commission.
Click here to watch a video of the hearing on C-SPAN
Click here to read our written testimony
The Sikh Coalition's Director of Law and Policy appeared before the Commission. His testimony discussed the challenges that Sikh students face in public schools in the United States. In particular, our testimony before the Commission highlighted our 2007 report titled Hatred in the Hallways (which found that 62% of turbaned Sikh students in Queens, New York suffer bullying) and our 2010 report titled Bay Area Civil Rights Report 2010 (which found that 74% of turbaned Sikh boys in the San Francisco Bay Area suffer similar bullying in school).
The Coalition’s testimony also highlighted the case of Gurwinder Singh of Queens, New York. Gurwinder had been bullied for almost his entire school career, including having his turban pulled off and being physically attacked by schoolmates. The Coalition’s written testimony provides detailed recommendations to the federal government on how to address bias-based bullying in schools.
Don't Be Silent! Share Your Bullying Stories
If you or your children have been bullied, teased or physically hit at school because of your Sikh identity, and if you want to share your experience with federal officials, click here to complete a short survey. Your stories will help us make the case that school bullying affects Sikh students throughout the nation.
The Sikh Coalition will continue to fight for a safe and healthy learning environment for all children in the United States. As always, we urge Sikhs everywhere to fearlessly maintain their articles of faith. If you or your children are being bullied, teased, or physically hit at school because of your Sikh identity, please contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.