Sikh Family Gets Apology After Frisco Post Office Refuses to Take Passport Photo Of Boy In Turban

March 24, 2009

Author: Blanca Cantu

Source: The Dallas Morning News

A Frisco father says his family's trip to the post office turned into an emotional experience after a postal worker refused to take his son's passport picture while the boy was wearing a turban

Under federal regulations, all hats or headgear should be removed for a passport photo unless an applicant signs a statement verifying that the item is worn daily for religious reasons.

Darshan Singh, who is a Sikh, said he wasn't sure whether it was ignorance or discrimination when a clerk and supervisor at a Frisco post office on Stonebrook Parkway told him that 6-year-old Gurjot must remove the turban. Singh said no one at the post office mentioned the statement – the staff simply refused to take the shot.

"We kept telling them, 'It's not a hat,' " Singh said. "I want to make sure that doesn't happen to any other kid of my religion."

Since learning of Singh's experience, officials at the U.S. Postal Service have apologized, saying workers at the Frisco post office were unaware of the federal policy.

"It was an innocent mishap," said McKinney Boyd, a postal spokesman. "We don't want to discourage customers from coming to any post office to seek assistance about a special service."