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French Muslim student banned from school for wearing long black skirt

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Headteacher of school in north-east France felt the long skirt ‘conspicuously’ showed religious affiliation, flouting rules of secularity.

A 15-year-old Muslim girl has been banned from class twice for wearing a long black skirt seen as too openly religious for secular France, in a casethat has sparked an outcry.

The girl was stopped from going to class earlier this month by the headteacher who reportedly felt the long skirt “conspicuously” showed religious affiliation, which is banned in schools by France’s strict secularity laws.

“The girl was not excluded, she was asked to come back with a neutral outfit and it seems her father did not want the student to come back to school,” local education official Patrice Dutot told AFP on Tuesday.

He admitted that the student always removed her veil before entering school premises in the north-eastern town of Charleville-Mezieres, as is specifically stipulated by law.

The student, identified as Sarah by local daily newspaper L’Ardennais, told the paper that her skirt was “nothing special, it’s very simple, there’s nothing conspicuous. There is no religious sign whatsoever”.

Her story was trending on Twitter in France with the hashtag #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux, translated into English as “I wear my skirt as I please”.

“If it’s worn by a ‘white’ person, it’s hippy chic, if it’s a Muslim, it becomes conspicuous,” one user tweeted.

Resource: The Guardian, April 28, 2015

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