Sikh youth bullied at alarming rates: Sikh Coalition Report 

Launch banner of report, “Where are you really from” by Sikh Coalition launched April 18, 2024. PHOTO: Courtesy Sikh Coalition

The Sikh Coalition, an advocacy organization, released a report April 18, 2024, on what youth from the community experience in schools.

The report, entitled, Where Are You Really From: A National Sikh School Climate Report ( follows on the organization’s 2014 report, Go Home, Terrorist. Where Are You Really From (WAYRF).

The new report received its data from more than 2,000 Sikh students ages 9 to 18 who completed surveys in 2022 to offer a new insight into bullying and school climate.

The study was conducted by the Sikh Coalition jointly with  academics from California, Dr. Kavita Kaur Atwal and research consultant Dr. Erin Knight.

“We believe the study to be the most comprehensive examination of U.S.-based Sikh youth’s school experiences,” the Sikh Coalition said in a press release.

According to the main findings, some 78% of students reported experiencing behavior that qualifies as bullying, but only 49% said they were bullied; 77% of Sikh male students with dastaars (turbans) or patkas (religious head-coverings) reported being bullied at least once, and the data further showed that male Sikh students are generally facing higher rates of discrimination and more violent forms of bullying in schools; 11% of Sikh students reported being bullied by or facing discrimination “from the very adults charged with educating and protecting them”; 74% of Sikh students said they know how to report bullying at their school, but 46% report “never” or “almost never” doing so—perhaps because 63% said that teachers or staff “almost never” or “never” intervened when bullying happened in front of them;   When asked about inclusion of Sikhi (Sikhism) in educational materials and school policies, more than 50% of Sikh students reported that their school is “not at all” inclusive of their religion.

“Data also indicate that less inclusivity significantly predicts more bullying incidents,” the Sikh Coalition said, adding, “Data shows that bullying incidents (actual and perceived) are significantly related to higher scores on tests that measure a depressed mood.”
The study also found that 82% of Sikh students reported experiencing at least one microaggression, but the majority who did so did not self-report being bullied

The organization said it has developed more than 50 policy recommendations that would help federal and state officials, state and local education authorities, and school administrators and educators to have a positive impact.



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