USA SALDEF Reports High Rate Of Bullying Of Sikh Children In Southern California


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
SALDEF Reports High Rate of Bullying of Sikh Children in Southern California

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(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, SALDEF participated in a meeting at the Department of Education with the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan to discuss educational priorities for the Obama Administration in its second term. Community advocates from around the country met with the Secretary and his senior staff to raise issues related to promoting diversity in public education, improving school climate by preventing bullying, harassment and profiling, and ensuring robust civil rights enforcement and data collection of the above incidents.

Jasjit Singh, SALDEF Executive Director, highlighted the critical issue of bullying against Sikh American school children. Citing a survey conducted by SALDEF of Sikh American students in Southern California, “67% of Sikh American children surveyed were bullied or harassed within the last school year and 31% have been threatened with physical violence or harm. These numbers are staggering compared to national averages and an indication of the serious challenges that our children continue to endure on a regular basis.”

Since 2011, SALDEF has worked to lobby members of congress to support the Safe Schools Improvement Act which aims to strengthen measures to prevent the bullying and harassment of students in public elementary and secondary schools. Some of the ways in which the bill will accomplish this is by:

Requiring states to collect information regarding bullying incidences that occur throughout its public schools and report this data to the Department of Education and make the data available to the public.

Requiring local educational agencies to clearly prohibit bullying and harassment in their discipline policies.

Requiring grievance procedures for students, parents and educators to redress incidents of bullying and harassment.

Prohibiting bullying and harassment that occurs through electronic means, including through the use of computers or cell phones.

SALDEF appreciates the efforts of the Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights in coordinating the meeting. To view past SALDEF engagement with high-level government officials, see below: