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California Legislature to Honor Sikh Americans

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

August 3, 2012

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE RECOMMENDS HONORING SIKH AMERICANS

This letter is to notify you of recent action by the Legislature calling attention to the important contributions made by Sikh Americans to the history of California. The Legislature has declared November 2012 to be California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month. I encourage local educational agencies to observe California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month by conducting appropriate commemorative exercises to promote awareness of the contributions of Sikh Americans to California’s history.

The Sikh population in California includes large communities in the agricultural towns of the Central Valley. Members of the Sikh community have testified to the State Board of Education that Sikhs have been targets of hate crimes and that young Sikhs have been subjected to bullying because of the different styles of clothing that they wear.

Public Broadcasting Service station KVIE in Sacramento has agreed to allow free distribution of a short video entitled “Meet the Sikhs.” This video and supporting educational resources are available on the KVIE Viewfinder Web page at http://www.kvie.org/programs/kvie/viewfinder/sikhs_in_america/default.htm External link opens in new window or tab.. I encourage you to make use of this site to inform students about the roles and contributions of Sikhs to the history of California.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact Kristen Cruz Allen, Administrator, Curriculum Frameworks Unit, by phone at 916-323-4867 or by e-mail at kcruzallen@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson

TT:km

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