Friday, June 9, 2017

From the WTF File: ‘Why do I need a note for my religion?’ Students are told to get permission slips to wear hijabs. - The Washington Post

‘Why do I need a note for my religion?’ Students are told to get permission slips to wear hijabs. - The Washington Post:

‘Why do I need a note for my religion?’ Students are told to get permission slips to wear hijabs.



When Fatmata Mansaray and Hajah Bah cross the stage Saturday for their high school graduation, they plan to do so proudly wearing headscarves of black and gold tucked beneath their graduation caps. Those are the Freedom High colors.
But last month their hijabs drew sharp questions from administrators at the Northern Virginia school — in what the two observant Muslims described as an embarrassing level of scrutiny. School officials threatened them with discipline, the students said, demanding that they remove the scarves and pressing them to get permission slips from their parents to prove they were Muslim. The young women, both 18, said the principal suggested the scarves might simply be a cover for an unfinished hairdo.
Mansaray said an assistant principal threatened to write her up for being disrespectful when she explained they were wearing hijab for a religious observance.
“I interjected, ‘It’s religious. We’re fasting for Ramadan. You guys are constantly harassing us,’ ” Mansaray recalled.
Mansaray’s account of her discussions with administrators at the Prince William County school, which she shared on Twitter on June 1, drew condemnation from civil rights activists and, ultimately, apologies from school officials. The school’s handbook was amended to ensure that principals know students need not “prove” their religion to wear hijabs.


County Schools Superintendent Steven Walts, along with Freedom High Principal Inez Bryant and Assistant Principal Christi Feemster, have personally apologized to the pair and their parents, the students said. Walts remained contrite at a school board meeting this ‘Why do I need a note for my religion?’ Students are told to get permission slips to wear hijabs. - The Washington Post:

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