Britain Says Schools Have Right to Ban Students From Wearing Muslim Veils
Schools have the right to ban students from wearing Muslim veils if teachers believe the garments affect safety or pupils' learning, the British government said Tuesday.
But educators should speak with parents before introducing such a ban, the Education Ministry said in updated guidelines that also addressed keeping uniforms affordable and spelling out disciplinary measures.
"Schools should consult parents and the wider community when setting uniform policy," Schools Minister Jim Knight said.
"And while they should make every effort to accommodate social, religious or medical requirements of individual pupils, the needs of safety, security and effective learning in the school must always take precedence," he said.
The ministry said head teachers always had the right to set their school's uniform policy. Schools had already been advised to accommodate different religions, but the new rules spelled out for the first time that concerns such as safety are valid reasons for exceptions. [Link]
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