California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly Concurrent ResolutionNo. 154

Introduced by Assembly Member Gray

(Coauthor: Assembly Member Olsen)

(Coauthors: Senators Cannella and Galgiani)

May 27, 2014

Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 154—Relative to pupil instruction.


ACR 154, as introduced, Gray. Modesto City Schools: World Geography-World Religion class.

This measure would acknowledge and applaud the Modesto City Schools’ initiative and achievement in teaching the unique World Geography-World Religion class as a grade 9 required course for the last 15 years, and would recommend that the class be considered for adoption by other school districts in the state.

Fiscal committee: no.

P1    1WHEREAS, The United States Declaration of Independence
2states that all men are created equal, and the Holy Sikh Scriptures
3contain hymns like, “One Father, and we are children of the One”
4and “Recognize ye, all Humanity as the Same”; and

5WHEREAS, Sikhism has 25 million followers, and is the fifth
6largest world religion after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and
7Buddhism; and

8WHEREAS, Nearly 300,000 residents of California are Sikhs,
9who, by the dint of their hard work, have distinguished themselves
10in all fields, as documented in Resolution Chapter 161 of the
P2    1Statutes of 2010, Resolution Chapter 60 of the Statutes of 2012,
2and Resolution Chapter 105 of the Statutes of 2013; and

3WHEREAS, Sikhism was founded in Northwestern India by
4Guru Nanak (1469-1539) and is not a branch of another religion,
5and Sikhs now have global distribution with Gurdwaras in more
6than 72 countries; and

7WHEREAS, Large numbers of Americans are physically or
8 psychologically attacked on the basis of their race, skin color,
9ethnicity, physical or mental abilities, sexual orientation, sex,
10gender identity, religion, culture, or age; and

11WHEREAS, Turbaned Sikh children experience bullying at
12more than double the national rate; and

13WHEREAS, The 115-member Community Safe Schools
14Committee of Modesto met for 14 months and presented in 1998
15a set of principles affirming respect for all; and, since 1999, the
16Modesto City Schools has engaged in the nation’s most direct
17experiment in using the public school curriculum to promote
18respect for religious freedom and diversity; and

19WHEREAS, The Modesto City Schools’ World
20Geography-World Religion class examines the geographical
21location, history, culture, and major beliefs of Hinduism,
22Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; and

23WHEREAS, The nine character traits of responsibility and
24respect, which are courage, honesty, loyalty, respect, responsibility,
25civility, compassion, initiative and perseverance, are stressed
26throughout the class, and pupils are taught how to make appropriate
27comments without offending other pupils; and

28WHEREAS, The class has been very successful in helping Sikh
29pupils feel more accepted and in helping pupils understand their
30First Amendment rights, understand and practice the character
31traits of respect and responsibility, become informed about the
32religious diversity in their community and the world, and obtain
33greater understanding about the six major world religions; and

34WHEREAS, The Modesto City Schools is perhaps the only
35school district in the state that requires all pupils to learn about
36and understand world religions; now, therefore, be it

37Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate
38thereof concurring,
That the Legislature acknowledges and
39applauds the Modesto City Schools’ initiative and achievements
40in teaching the unique World Geography-World Religion class as
P3    1a grade 9 required course for the last 15 years, and recommends
2that the class be considered for adoption by other school districts
3in the state; and be it further

4Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
5of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution to the
6Members of the Legislature, the Superintendent of Public
7Instruction, the county superintendents of schools for transmission
8to all school district superintendents, and other interested
9organizations or persons.