Mass. charter school student receives uniform violation for hijab

A charter school in Massachusetts, where an 8th grade student was ticketed for a uniform violation for wearing a hijab, says it understands the “handling of the situation came across as insensitive.” A relative of the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School student posted on social media a photo of the “School Uniform Compliance Form” the student received Thursday from a teacher for the hijab. In the description of the offense, the headscarf worn by Muslim women was misspelled as ‘jihab’. The school said in an emailed statement that it allows students to wear religious clothing “as an expression of their sincere beliefs,” but asks students to send a letter “requiring this from a member of their community.” clergy.” School inspector Alex Dan said there were no consequences for the student and that the form sent home was intended to start a conversation with the family about obtaining religious accommodation. But Dan acknowledged that the situation had been mishandled. that the respected member of staff overseeing the process should not take responsibility for what happened, we understand how our handling of the situation came across as insensitive and look forward to using this moment as a learning opportunity to improve our policies and procedures The school’s statement said. The Massachusetts branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says its attorneys are representing the student’s family and are investigating the situation. The student is now wearing a hijab at school, the group said. CAIR-Massachusetts Executive Director Tahirah Amatul-Wadud said wearing a hijab or other religious clothing should not require families to seek accommodation. “I would never want to justify to that student what she is wearing,” she said Sunday. I don’t want them ever having to justify this requiring an accommodation.” The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School also came under fire in 2017 due to a policy to ban hair braid extensions. The parents of then 15-year-olds said their twin daughters, who are black, were punished for wearing extensions, while white students were not punished for haircut violations. , the school has abandoned the policy. In July, Republican government Charlie Baker signed a law in response to that incident to outlaw discrimination based on natural and protective hairstyles — such as afros, cornrows, or tightly coiled twists — in workplaces, school districts and school-related organizations across the state.

A charter school in Massachusetts, where an 8th grade student was ticketed for a uniform violation for wearing a hijab, says it understands the “handling of the situation came across as insensitive.”

A relative of the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School student posted on social media a photo of the “School Uniform Compliance Form” the student received Thursday from a teacher for the hijab. In the description of the offense, the headscarf worn by Muslim women was misspelled as ‘jihab’.

The school said in an emailed statement that it allows students to wear religious clothing “as an expression of their sincere beliefs,” but asks students to send a letter “requiring this from a member of their community.” clergy.”

School inspector Alex Dan said there were no consequences for the student and that the form sent home was intended to start a conversation with the family about obtaining religious accommodation. But Dan acknowledged that the situation had been mishandled.

“While we would like to reiterate that the respected employee overseeing the process should not take responsibility for what happened, we understand how our handling of the situation came across as insensitive and look forward to using this moment as a learning opportunity to improve our policies and procedures,” the school said in a statement.

The Massachusetts branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says its attorneys are representing the student’s family and are investigating the situation. The student is now wearing a hijab at school, the group said.

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, executive director of CAIR-Massachusetts, said wearing a hijab or other religious clothing should not force families to seek shelter.

“I would never want to justify to that student what she is wearing,” she said on Sunday. “I don’t want them ever having to justify this requiring an accommodation.”

The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School also came under fire in 2017 for a policy to ban hair braid extensions. The parents of then 15-year-olds said their twin daughters, who are black, were punished for wearing extensions, while white students were not punished for haircut violations.

The school dropped the policy after strong criticism, including from Massachusetts Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey.

In July, Republican government Charlie Baker signed a law in response to that incident to outlaw discrimination based on natural and protective hairstyles — such as afros, cornrows, or tightly coiled twists — in workplaces, school districts and school-related organizations across the state.


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