Take Action: Tell the FBI to Track Anti-Sikh Hate Crimes
As part of its ongoing effort to promote bullying awareness and prevention, the Sikh Coalition and its volunteers recently concluded a community survey of 139 Sikh youth in Fresno, California. The survey found that 36% of respondents have been teased at school because of their religion or ethnicity. By comparison, a recent U.S. Department of Education report suggests that approximately 28% of all students in American school sexperience bullying. The Sikh Coalition survey also revealed that 18% of Sikh youth respondents in Fresno have experienced hitting or unwanted touching, including pulling of their hair and patkas. The Sikh Coalition looks forward to working with the Fresno Sikh community on using these survey results to develop strategies to combat school bullying and promote safer schools for all children. In recent months, graduates of the Sikh Coalition Advocate Academy and community volunteers have completed school bullying surveys in Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Tennessee, with additional results expected soon from Texas. These simple, anonymous surveys are important because they focus community attention on a serious issue facing our youth. In addition, the survey results can be shared with government officials and school administrators to promote stronger policies and programs against school bullying. (Click here to watch a video highlighting a success story from Sikh community volunteers in Maryland.) There are many ways for you to get involved. If you wish to express support for the Safe Schools Improvement Act, a proposed federal anti-bullying law, you can click here to send an automatic letter to your members of Congress. If you wish to partner with the Sikh Coalition on a survey in your community, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An internal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) memorandum concluded that the agency can successfully audit its screening practices to guard against racial and religious profiling. The memorandum, released by the Sikh Coalition, was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed with the assistance of the law firm Covington & Burling LLP. The TSA memorandum is significant because it validates the longstanding demand of the Sikh Coalition and other civil rights organizations — that the TSA combat profiling against Sikhs by auditing its screening practices. Written over 2 years ago in response to concerns raised by the Sikh Coalition and other prominent civil rights organizations, the memorandum discusses eight “strategic options” that the TSA could implement to “address racial profiling concerns” and “improve internal business controls as they relate to secondary screening procedures.” Significantly, TSA also appears to have miscalculated the effectiveness of new screening technologies as a solution to profiling concerns. To learn more about this issue, please read our latest blog article.