Reflecting the increasing diversity in the United States, the White House has launched its annual anti-bullying campaign in three South Asian languages–Hindu, Urdu and Punjabi.
Bullying is considered as a major problem in US schools. Latest figures show that one in five students report being bullied during the school year and bullying occurs once every seven minutes.
According to White House, half of Asian-American students in New York city public schools reported biase-based harassment.
The White House announced to launch its anti-bullying campaign in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu along with Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese during National Bullying Prevention Month.
The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, in partnership with the Sikh Coalition and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), on Thursday launched the ‘Act To Change’ public awareness campaign to address bullying, including in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Backed by a diverse coalition of supporters, including media platforms and national non-profit organisations, the ‘Act To Change’ campaign aims to empower AAPI youth, educators, and communities with information and tools to address and prevent bullying.
In addition to promoting ‘Act To Change’ through its various platforms, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) will publish survey data on anti-Hindu bullying and bias in schools.
“The bullying of Sikh children is an epidemic,” said Arjun Singh, the Sikh Coalition’s Law and Policy director.
“Misinformation and misunderstanding regarding the Sikh faith, coupled with a dramatic increase in bigoted dialogue towards religious minorities, has resulted in intolerance and bullying in our schools,” he said.
The Sikh Coalition worked with the Department of Justice to settle a landmark bullying case in Georgia against a Sikh child at the end of 2014.
The settlement now better protects over 100,000 students across the school district from bullying and represents a first of its kind policy change in the US.
“Students understand bullying better than anyone because they see it and experience it every single day,” said Harjot Kaur, Sikh Coalition’s New York city Community Development manager.
“The launch of this new initiative gives them a single, reliable platform of resources to combat bullying. A few years ago, this crisis was something nobody was talking about. This campaign adds significant momentum to the national movement to stop this problem,” she said.