Sikh Boy's Hair Forcibly Cut In Hate Attack

May 25, 2007

Source: Sikh Coalition Press Release

(New York, New York) May 25, 2007 - A Sikh high school student's hair was forcibly cut in a hate attack yeterday afternoon at a high school in Elmhurst, Queens the Sikh Coalition learned from police investigators today. The Queens County District Attorney's office has charged one student with hate crimes as a result.

Yesterday's incident occured in part as a result of a verbal disupte that escalated and led to two students forcing the Sikh student into a bathroom, removing his turban, and forcibly cutting his hair. According to police, the Sikh student was "cowering in the corner" as his hair was forcibly cut. The police said that the Sikh student's hair, which used to be below his waist, is now at shoulder level. The boy's mother and the boy are both very distressed.

The Coalition commends the Hate Crimes Taskforce of the New York City Police Department for its prompt investigation of this matter. The Sikh Coalition is working with its community partners in New York City to determine an appropriate response to this horrible incident. The Coalition will also independently review why Queens County prosecutors declined to prosecute two other students who were arrested as a result of the incident. We will update the community as this matter develops.