Kansas became the 14th state in the nation to include Sikhism in its social studies standards. This historic change comes almost one week after the Indiana Board of Education also voted to include Sikhism in five different places in the Indiana state standards on March 4, 2020.
The Kansas standards, voted on by the Kansas State Board of Education, provide topics for ‘suggested instruction’ for public school students of all ages.
Per today’s vote, Sikhism will now appear in the suggested instruction for Middle Level Geography and Upper Level World History; individual school districts will still maintain control over their curricula, in accordance with education policy in Kansas.
The following quote is attributable to Dr. Pritpal Kaur, Sikh Coalition Education Director:
“Today is a victory in our years-long campaign to cause a generational shift in Sikh Awareness via advocacy around education policy. In truth, the inclusion of Sikhism in state standards is only the first step; we will continue to stay involved by ensuring that teachers and students have access to accurate and appropriate information about our faith.”
In addition to reviewing the draft standards for the Kansas State Board of Education in January, the Sikh Coalition assisted Hartej Singh in speaking before the board this morning in support of Sikhism’s inclusion. Ranjit Singh Lamba, a longtime resident of Overland Park, Kansas with his family, said that the change will “help my children feel represented and included in their classrooms.”
With these updates to both Kansas and Indiana’s standards, 23,028,547 students across the country--or approximately 45 percent of all public school students in the United States--will now have the opportunity to learn about Sikhism in school.
The other states that have chosen to include Sikhism in their standards are New Jersey, Texas, New York, California, Idaho, Tennessee, Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma, Michigan, North Dakota, and Nebraska.