Oregon Senate to Consider Ban on Minority Teachers

February 16, 2010 (Washington, DC) - This month, the Oregon Senate is likely to consider whether to overturn an 87-year-old law that forbids teachers from wearing religious dress (such as a dastaar, yarmulke, or hijab) in the public schools of Oregon. Although the law was designed to suppress Catholics during the 1920s, its modern day impact is felt most heavily by observant Sikhs, Jews, and Muslims.

Last week, the Oregon House of Representatives voted to overturn the law, but there is no guarantee that the Oregon Senate will do the same. It is therefore imperative that Sikhs and supporters of equal opportunity nationwide take action and make their voices heard immediately. With your help, Oregon can soon become the 48th state to respect the dignity of religious minorities and allow them to find self-fulfillment in any career they choose.

Sign Our Petition for Equal Opportunity

Oregon Legislators Standing Up for Civil Rights

Last week, Oregon House Representative Michael Dembrow and House Speaker Dave Hunt made powerful statements in support of equal opportunity in the Oregon House of Representatives. Both of these public servants have taken a strong stand for civil rights, and their remarks prove that religious minorities have strong advocates for change in the Oregon legislature. Click here to watch a video.

Sikh Teachers in Their Own Words

The Sikh Coalition has collected the stories of Sikh teachers throughout the United States. Despite their excellent credentials and proven track record of success, none of these teachers would be allowed to pursue teaching careers in the public schools of Oregon because of their Sikh identity. This only highlights the injustice of Oregon law. Click here to read their stories.

Sikh Coalition Resources

The Sikh Coalition has prepared a Fact Sheet on Equal Opportunity for Oregon Teachers. This document provides legal and historical context to the struggle for equal opportunity in Oregon and demonstrates that Oregon's ban on religious dress for public school teachers is nothing more than an antiquated and immoral vestige of the Ku Klux Klan. Click here to download our Fact Sheet.

Sign Our Petition for Equal Opportunity

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