Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
November 7, 2018

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

November is Sikh American Awareness Month

I am writing to inform you that November is California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month. Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 122 recognizes the important contributions made by Sikh Americans to the history of California. I encourage local educational agencies to observe California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month by conducting appropriate exercises to promote awareness of the contributions of Sikh Americans.

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, with Sikh boys suffering at twice the national bullying rate than other boys.

To learn more about the obstacles and challenges that Sikhs face as well as their contributions to California’s history, please see the following:

  • “Bullying Prevention Task Force Report” by the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Justice, and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). This report draws on feedback from Sikh and other AAPI students and raises awareness about bullying issues that can benefit all students in addition to those from the Sikh and broader AAPI communities. You may view the report at: https://sites.ed.gov/aapi/files/2015/02/AAPI-Bullying-Prevention-Task-Force-Report-2014-2016_R051516C_1.pdf
  • “Cultural Safari-Know Your Sikh Neighbors” video by the Kaur Foundation which helps close the cultural awareness gap that exists between educators, administrators, and peers of Sikh American students. It covers five main areas of Sikh culture and heritage: origins, history, physical attributes, festivals, and holidays. You can view the video at http://www.kaurfoundation.org/educator-resources.html

ACR 122 “recognizes and acknowledges the significant contributions that Californians of Sikh heritage have made to the state, and would seek to afford all Californians the opportunity to understand, recognize, and appreciate the rich history and shared principles of Sikh Americans.” To view the full text of the resolution, please visit the California Legislative Publications web page at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180ACR122

If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact Jason Spencer, Principal Advisor to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, by phone at 916-319-0800 or by e-mail at jaspencer@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson

TT:df
2018-07627

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Recently Posted in Editorials & Letters

  • 2019 National Youth Science Camp (added 04-Jan-2019)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals regarding the 2019 National Youth Science Camp.
  • Comprehensive School Safety Plan Reminder (added 03-Jan-2019)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators regarding Assembly Bill 2514 and the Pathways to Success Grant Program.
  • Multilingual Education Grant Program (added 03-Jan-2019)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators regarding Assembly Bill 2514 and the Pathways to Success Grant Program.
  • Teacher and Administrator Performance Assessments (added 28-Dec-2018)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and School Principals regarding updates on California’s teacher and administrator performance assessments.
  • Use of Restraint and Seclusion for Students (added 27-Dec-2018)
    New law regarding the use of restraint and seclusion for students in California.

  • 2019 CA School Library Association Conference (added 20-Dec-2018)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and School Principals regarding the 2019 California School Library Association Conference.
  • Assembly Bill 2239 (added 03-Dec-2018)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals regarding Assembly Bill 2239: Native Speaker World Language Course A–G Certification.
  • Classified School Employee Summer Assistance (added 03-Dec-2018)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents regarding the Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program.
  • 2019 Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience (added 30-Nov-2018)
    Letter to County Superintendents regarding the 2019 Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education State Educational Agency Grant.
  • November is Sikh American Awareness Month (added 28-Nov-2018)
    November is Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month.