School uniform rules are still discriminatory

School uniform rules are still discriminatory

By tu200409 | Considering special cases | 16 Jan 2021


It emerged this week that the parents of 12-year-old school girl Siham Hamud were being threatened with legal action by their daughter’s school. Not because of behavioural problems, but because she had “unauthorised absences” caused by being sent home last year for refusing to wear, on religious grounds, a shorter skirt. Instead of the school-assigned black pleated skirt, that her parents said was above Siham’s knee, the Uxbridge school girl wore a black ankle length skirt.

Siham’s father described her as “top of her class”, but last month she was being sent home every day, simply because of the length of her skirt.

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Many would be shocked that this could happen in 2021 – surely schools, which all have diversity policies of some kind, know that some Muslim girls will dress differently to their classmates, and respect that?

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Unfortunately, I know through my work with the Association of Muslim Schools that stories like Siham’s are In the absence of any comprehensive national guidelines on this from the Department for Education, there are dangerous diversity blind spots in some schools. Those blind spots are not limited to Muslim pupils or faith communities: black pupils have been excluded over their hairstyles because of policies of individual schools.

Despite teachers’ best efforts, however, they cannot be expected to be experts on every faith tradition, or aware of every cultural sensitivity. This is particularly the case now, where they are understandably focused on adapting to remote learning and implementing Covid secure arrangements, as well as keeping abreast of whether they are open or closed during any particular week.

This is why a national policy is essential to protect the rights – and the sense of acceptance and belonging – of all children. Individual judgement is imperfect at the best of times, but especially at a time of crisis. The Department for Education has delegated this crucial part of how schools are run and pupils are treated to individual institutions. It’s admirable that they trust teachers and empower them to make the best decisions based on their own pupils and schools’ circumstances, but some things are too important to delegate.

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Considering special cases
Considering special cases

According to Assoc.TS Nguyen Viet Thong, Central Conference 15 will consider special cases to be included in the list of the Central Committee, XIII Politburo. Sáng nay (16/1), Hội nghị lần thứ 15 Ban Chấp hành (BCH) Trung ương khóa XII khai mạc, dưới sự chủ trì của Tổng Bí thư, Chủ tịch nước Nguyễn Phú Trọng. This morning (January 16), the 15th Conference of the XII Central Executive Committee (BCH) opened, under the chairmanship of the General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong.including Mr. Uon

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