May 10, 2018 (Denver, Colorado) – Today, the Colorado State Board of Education voted to approve new social studies standards, which for the first time ever include Sikhism.
The new standards
are out now and will be fully implemented by the 2020-2021 school year after a period of teacher training. The result is that over 270,000 high school students in Colorado will now accurately learn about the Sikh community. This is another significant milestone in the Sikh Coalition’s never-ending effort to create Sikh awareness in our nation’s classrooms for generations to come.
“As a teacher in Colorado’s public school system, I am deeply thankful for the Sikh Coalition’s support, and I am thrilled that the Board of Education has listened to our community,” said Colorado school teacher, Jaspreet Kaur Thiara. “I look forward to continuing my commitment to Colorado’s students in an increasingly inclusive educational environment.”
Community Persistence Paid Off
The inclusion of Sikhism in Colorado’s social studies standards
resulted from nearly two years of engagement by local community leaders and proactive advocacy from the Sikh Coalition. Sikhs in Colorado formally requested the inclusion of Sikhism
in the standards beginning in October 2016. The Sikh Coalition then followed up with another formal request
in September 2017 and continued to communicate
with the Department of Education and the Colorado sangat throughout the drafting process.
The Sikh Coalition is grateful to the many passionate Sikh community members and allies for their grassroots leadership. We are also thankful to the Colorado Department of Education for its responsiveness and commitment to diversity.
“The inclusion of Sikhism in Colorado’s social studies standards is another monumental achievement in the campaign to reduce bullying and hate in schools. Education is the key to increasing understanding and respect towards all communities,” said Sikh Coalition Education Director Pritpal Kaur. "We will make sure this win is followed by many more."
Colorado now joins a growing list of states – including New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, Tennessee and Idaho
– that have worked with the Sikh Coalition to include accurate information about Sikhs in their public school standards. We look forward to adding to this list in the months and years ahead.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.