I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy belonging to such a pro-active community. I don’t know whether it’s the Punjabi, the Sikh, or some combination of the two influences that makes people speak out, but whatever it is, I love it.
This picture, I think, portrays why. It speaks volumes. Hundreds of men and women of every age group walked together and made their voices heard in Richmond Hill today.
“Don’t Hate, Educate” and “Fed Up” (says the chotu in the front row on the right).
The girl in the front, center stole a piece of my heart too.
From the Sikh Coalition:
While the Sikh community continues to express grave concerns about the safety of its children in city schools, the Department of Education and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein are beginning to respond to the problem of bias- based bullying against all children in city schools… The Chancellor recently ordered “the drafting of a new Chancellor’s regulation that incorporates recommendations from the Sikh Coalition.
In addition on June 6 Chancellor Klein said that the Department will “distribute an anti-bias brochure to every middle and high school student in the City that defines harassment, advises students of their rights, and outlines appropriate actions in response to acts of harassment.” In addition, Chancellor Klein said that the Department will expand its “incident reporting system to comprehensively track bias-related incidents in our schools beginning in September.”
The Sikh Coalition commends the Department of Education and Chancellor Klein for pledging to create a system to monitor and address incidents of bias-based bullying in city schools. This announcement by the Chancellor, while short of the protections called for in the Dignity in All Schools Act (passed by the City Council in 2004), is a major step forward in the fight to protect all students from biased-based harassment in city schools.
Nevertheless, the Sikh Coalition calls on the Department of Education to enact a plan to protect Sikh children specifically from bias-based harassment in city schools. It is the Sikh community’s intent to continue marching in larger and larger numbers until steps are taken to protect Sikh children in particular from bias-based harassment.