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The Sikh Coalition News
June 13, 2022
  • Yearly Trainings at NJ School to Create More Inclusive Classrooms

    June 13, 2022 (Woodbury, NJ) -- On Friday, June 10, the Sikh Coalition joined more than 100 teachers and administrators at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT) for an interactive working session on Creating Safer and More Inclusive Classrooms.

    This conversation focused on essential religious literacy (including how to recognize Sikh and other articles of faith) and what teachers can do in cases of religious-based bullying. Moreover, the training, which will be held on an annual basis moving forward, includes a plan for broader cultural change at the school by enlisting student council leadership and the diversity club for peer-to-peer engagement.

    “We are grateful to the Sikh Coalition for leading this important working session with our educators,” said Dr. Jo Murphy, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. “Teachers, parents, students, and administrators have to work together to create classrooms which are safe for all our students, and this is an important first step towards strengthening a culture that protects all of our students regardless of their background.”

    “This kind of engagement is essential to ensuring that Sikh children are seen, respected, and valued in their classrooms,” added Rucha Kaur, Sikh Coalition Community Development Director, who facilitated the hour-long training. “Knowledge about marginalized groups not only helps educators spot and stop religious-based bullying--it also helps them weave more inclusive material into their classroom instruction in an appropriate way.”

    Since children have returned to in-person instruction across the nation, the Sikh Coalition has measured a significant increase in legal intakes related to school bullying. If your child is suffering verbal or physical harassment, we are here to help--and there are multiple ways to take action. The Sikh Coalition can:

    • Assist you in reporting bullying incidents yourself;
    • Provide material explaining the Sikh faith and religious-based bullying to teachers and administrators;
    • Engage the school directly if your reports are not yielding appropriate action;
    • Connect you to local counsel for legal action in extreme cases; and
    • Facilitate follow-up trainings that increase Sikh awareness among students and staff.

    If your child or a student you know is facing bullying in schools, please reach out to our legal team for a free consultation. Additionally, you can review all of our education materials--from lesson plans to accommodation letters for articles of faith--on our website.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.
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