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The Sikh Coalition News
September 7, 2022

  • Back to School Resources for Children, Parents, and Teachers

    September 7, 2022 (New York, NY) -- As students continue to return to school nationwide, the Sikh Coalition would like to remind you of resources and support that are available for students, parents, and teachers alike.

    In 2018, we released our first ever Back to School toolkit, which we have updated continuously in the years since. The toolkit includes Sikh awareness presentations for parents, anti-bullying brochures, Know Your Rights materials, and more legal resources that will help increase knowledge among students, teachers, and administrators, as well as protect Sikh children if problems arise at school. The Sikhism Educator’s Guide--a resource to equip teachers with lesson plans for teaching about Sikhism, along with background information regarding the Sikh community--is also available in the toolkit, as are accommodation letters that will ensure Sikh kids can maintain their articles of faith. Please email education@sikhcoalition.org if you would like to request more information.

    Across the nation, the Sikh Coalition continues our localized work to increase Sikh awareness and support Sikh youth in schools. In April 2022, we worked with the Sikh Community of Wisconsin and the Oak Creek Public Library to launch a new Sikh Book Collection that aids library visitors in learning about the Sikh faith and community. The publically available collection permanently includes books written by Sikhs and written about the Sikh faith. The Sikh Coalition has also worked with other Wisconsin Sikh community leaders and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to upload new material to a statewide electronic library called WISELearn, where Wisconsin educators can access quality, standards-aligned educational resources. Meanwhile, in June, the Sikh Coalition joined more than 100 teachers and administrators at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT) in Sewell, New Jersey, for an interactive working session 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 – this training will now be held on an annual basis.

    “Supporting Sikh kids and increasing religious and cultural literacy is a core part of our education work at the Sikh Coalition,” said Harman Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Education. “By ensuring that parents, teachers, and students have support via resources and access, we can work towards a future where school environments are safe and conducive to learning and growth for all students.”

    Despite proactive efforts, Sikh kids do continue to experience bullying in schools. If your child is experiencing verbal or physical harassment, the Sikh Coalition can assist you in reporting the bullying incidents yourself, provide materials that explain the Sikh faith and religious based bullying to school administration, engage the school directly, connect you to local counsel for legal action, and/or facilitate trainings that increase Sikh awareness in your school. In short, there are a number of smaller steps you can take before filing a lawsuit--and you can email legal@sikhcoalition.org to learn more about what we can do together if your child needs help.

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