Bay Area Teacher Credited with Building Bridges Between Sikh Community and High School

December 14, 2005

Source: The Daily Review

On December 14, 2005 The Daily Review reported, "When two boys at James Logan High School fought on campus this fall, Principal Don Montoya asked a teacher to call the students' parents in for a meeting. Then he asked the teacher to interpret. Harpaul Singh Rana made the call and sat in on the meeting, switching between Punjabi and English to explain to the boys' parents what had happened at school... On a high school campus where students speak dozens of languages, communication between parents and school staff is key, and often challenging. But according to Rana and other Sikh parents, the linguistic and cultural gulf between Punjabi-speaking families and the school is starting to narrow, a phenomenon many credit to the school's Punjabi classes, offered for the first time this fall. About 95 students are enrolled in Rana's classes, and he anticipates that figure to swell next year. Most of his students are from Punjabi-speaking families, but others are Latino or from southern India, he said. The Bay Area is considered the heart of Sikh America, with about 500,000 Sikhs living here and an estimated 250 Sikh students at Logan."