The Sikh Federation (UK) has written to Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education asking about actions being taken by his department on hate crimes and bullying of Sikh school children due to their visible identity.
This follows an incident on 13 November involving a physical attack on a Sikh schoolboy in Telford that West Mercia Police is investigating as a hate crime. The extensive media coverage of this incident in the last 48 hours following the circulation of a video of the incident on social media has brought the issue of attacks on visible Sikh school children into focus.
The letter to Gavin Williamson states:
“We fear thousands of Sikh children regularly face such acts of physical violence and emotional trauma in the educational system that need to be fully investigated and addressed.”
Last month the Sikh Federation (UK) and the Sikh Network organised a virtual lobby on Anti-Sikh hate involving over 40 MPs. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs produced a report on Anti-Sikh hate and is waiting for a response from the Home Secretary and Communities Secretary.
The Sikh Federation (UK) has asked the Education Secretary to provide reassurances to Sikh community representatives and discuss what actions can be taken including raising awareness and understanding of the Sikh identity.
The letter to the Education Secretary has been copied to Preet Kaur Gill MP, the Chair of the APPG for British Sikhs and Lucy Allan MP the Conservative MP for Telford and a member of the APPG who has issued a statement on the Telford incident.
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