'Ensure all children enjoy safe learning environment in US'

  • PTI, New York
  • Updated: Mar 03, 2015 16:04 IST

A day after a shocking video of a young Sikh boy being bullied by his schoolmates and called a "terrorist" appeared, a Sikh rights group has asked school authorities in the US to partner with parents, students and community groups to strengthen anti-bullying programmes.

"We urge school officials nationwide to partner with parents, students and community organisations to strengthen their anti-bullying programs and ensure that all children enjoy a safe and healthy learning environment," the Sikh Coalition told PTI on Monday.

The group said it is aware of a video showing the Sikh student being bullied on a school bus but said it has chosen not to publicise the matter "out of respect for the privacy of those involved.

The young Sikh boy in the US state of Georgia was called a "terrorist" by a group of school children, with the video of he abuse now going viral on the Internet.

It said the general public also respect the privacy of the affected child and his family and "focus instead on the need to strengthen anti-bullying programs in American schools.

Sikh Coalition said its surveys consistently show that Sikh American children are bullied at disproportionate rates because of their religion.

In the video posted on Inquisitr, the bespectacled Sikh boy is seen sitting in what appears to be a school bus and is surrounded by students. He whispers to the camera: "The kids are being racist to me."

A young girl sitting behind him then shouts "terrorist! terrorist!" and points her finger at the boy, who remains calm and even shouts "who cares" when the kids hurl abuses at him.

Inquisitr identified the Sikh boy as Harsukh Singh. Singh apparently uploaded the video initially which has so far got 130,000 views, with the description,"Kids being racist to me and calling me an Afghan terrorist. Please don't act like this towards people like me. If you don't know, I'm not Muslim I'm Sikh."

The Inquisitr reported that Singh is a student at the Chattahoochee Elementary School in Duluth, Georgia.

The incident comes weeks after a Hindu temple was vandalised in Seattle. A Nazi swastika and the phrase "get out" was found spray-painted in red on the exterior of the temple and cultural centre in Washington state in February.

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, FBI hatecrimes statistics shows that anti-Muslim hatecrimes are still at about five times more common than they were before the 9/11 attacks.

Last year, 29-year-old Sikh man Sandeep Singh was brutally injured after a Long Island man slammed his pick-up truck into him after calling him 'Osama' and that he should "go back to your country."

Joseph Caleca was indicted by a grand jury on a nine-count indictment charging him with attempted murder as a hate crime, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and leaving the scene without reporting after hitting Singh.

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