Report: Sikh Students Face Abuse from Classmates

June 5, 2007

Author: Joshua Rhett Miller

Source: The New York Metro

TWEED COURTHOUSE. More than three-quarters of male Sikh students in Queens said they are teased or harassed in city schools due to their identity, according to a report released yesterday.

The report revealed that 62 of 80 Sikh boys polled over the last six months said they were subjected to name-calling, threats or physical abuse. Citywide, 58.4 percent of 197 male and female Sikh students surveyed said they’ve been harassed, including 18.9 percent who said other students have said they look like a terrorist.

“That is not acceptable,” said Amardeep Singh, executive director of the Sikh Coalition, which conducted the study. “That is not what New York is about.”

The report was released less than two weeks after a 17-year-old Pakistani student at Newtown High School was arraigned on felony hate crimes for allegedly removing the turban of a 15-year-old Sikh student and chopping his hair off on May 24. Umair Ahmed, of Elmhurst, remains free on bail but faces up to seven years in prison.