WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Sikh Coalition on March 13 released a national report in the U.S. Congress on the endemic and severe bullying of Sikh school children in America. The report was released at a briefing in the U.S. Capitol Building organized by the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus,
“This is our seventh report in seven years in whole or part on school bullying. Consistently, the majority of Sikh children from the coasts to the heartland say that bias-based bullying is a part of their experience in school,” Amardeep Singh, director of programs at the Sikh Coalition, stated in the press release.
“We need the help of educators, administrators, lawmakers, agency officials, the media, parents, and children if we are going to end this troubling dynamic.” Key findings of the report reveal that over two-thirds of turbaned Sikh children report that they are bullied in school, and that the bullying of Sikh children is often associated with post-9/11 bias. Epithets such as “terrorist” or “Bin Laden” frequently accompany verbal and physical abuse. The report also revealed that Sikh children have been punched, kicked, and had their turbans ripped off by fellow students, and that consistently Sikh children have called on educators and administrators to teach more about Sikhs and the Sikh religion in order to build understanding in school.
The report cites lack of federal data on the bullying of Sikh school children as a systematic concern that should be addressed in order to better diagnose and target efforts to solve the issue. In addition, the absence of or negative representation of Sikhs in school textbooks nationwide was cited by the report as an opportunity to better combat or mitigate school bullying.