French Muslim student banned from school for wearing a long black skirt | France
A 15-year-old Muslim girl has been banned from classes twice for wearing a long black skirt considered too overtly religious for secular France, in a case that sparked an uproar.
The girl was barred from going to class earlier this month by the headmaster who allegedly felt the long skirt “conspicuously” showed religious affiliation, which is prohibited in schools by France’s strict secularism laws. .
“The girl was not excluded, she was asked to come back with a neutral outfit and it seems that her father did not want the student to come back to school,” Patrice Dutot told AFP on Tuesday, local education officer.
He admitted that the student always removed his veil before entering the premises of the school in the city of Charleville-MÃ©ziÃ¨res, in the northeast, as expressly provided for in the law.
According to the 2004 law which governs secularism in schools, the veil, the Jewish kippah or the large Christian crosses are prohibited in schools, but âdiscreet religious symbolsâ are authorized.
The student, identified as Sarah by the local daily L’Ardennais, told the newspaper that her skirt was ânothing special, it’s very simple, there is nothing flashy. There is no religious sign.
Her story was in vogue on Twitter in France with the hashtag #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux, translated into English as “I wear my skirt as I please”.
âIf it’s worn by a ‘white’ person it’s hippie chic, if it’s a Muslim it becomes visible,â one user tweeted.
But the regional education office hinted in a statement that the wearing of the skirt could have been part of a concerted “provocation”.
“When it comes to concerted protest actions by students, which follow other more visible incidents linked for example to the wearing of the veil, the secular framework of education must be firmly reminded and guaranteed”, a- he declared.
According to the CCIF Islamophobia Observatory, around 130 students were excluded from class last year for outfits deemed too overtly religious.