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The Sikh Coalition News
March 6, 2020
  • Standing Against Anti-Sikh Bullying on Capitol Hill

    March 6, 2020 (Washington, DC) -- On Wednesday afternoon, Sikh Coalition Legal Client and Community Services Manager Aasees Kaur spoke on a Capitol Hill panel to share her family’s story of heartbreak, resilience, and triumph in the face of anti-Sikh bullying.

    The briefing, hosted by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) focused on bias-based bullying of Sikhs and other religious minorities. Additional panelists included Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at ISPU; Dr. Abbas Barzegar, Director of Research and Advocacy at CAIR National; Dr. Rukhsana Moona Chaudhry, Director of Mental Health Programming at American Muslim Health Professionals; and Dr. Nina Daoud, Advisor at the Justice for Muslims Collective. Honorary event host Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) also attended and gave remarks.

    Ms. Kaur’s remarks focused on the experience of her brother, Japjee Singh, who was beaten so badly at a public middle school in Dekalb County, Georgia, that he had to be hospitalized; upon his return, the abuse persisted to the point that a bully cut his previously unshorn hair. Ultimately, through free legal action, the Sikh Coalition assisted Ms. Kaur’s family in securing two settlements between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Dekalb County School District and worked to better protect the district’s more than 100,000 students with cultural competency trainings on 9/11 backlash.

     

    In addition to sharing her family’s story, Ms. Kaur outlined a number of policy solutions that lawmakers can take to make schools safer. These asks included the push to include Sikhism in state education standards to inform social studies curricula; the need for cultural competency training for students, teachers, and administrators; and a call to pass two critical pieces of federal-level legislation to combat bullying. All three speak to core areas of the Sikh Coalition’s education, legal, and advocacy work.

    Sikh children remain disproportionately bullied in classrooms across the nation. The Sikh Coalition’s 2014 report Go Home, Terrorist concluded that more than 50 percent of Sikh children have endured bullying, with the number rising sharply (67 percent) for turbaned Sikh children. Our legal team continues to accept new bullying cases on a pro bono, case-by-case basis; if your children or a child you know is in need of help, please contact us. In addition, we remain committed to working with organizational partners like ISPU against the bias-based bullying of Sikh children and children of other minority groups. We extend our gratitude to ISPU for organizing and hosting this important event, and look forward to further collaboration moving forward.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.
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Editing:2020.03.06 ISPU Briefing round-up Editing:2020.03.06 ISPU Briefing round-up  

Editing:2020.03.06 ISPU Briefing round-up Editing:2020.03.06 ISPU Briefing round-up