Headscarves And Headscarves

The most important issue for many educators is whether a female can wear something on her head. At times, it surpasses whether boys and girls can wear a cap to school. Of course, years ago, the great debate revolved around hair and its length. A secondary school in the Netherlands was granted permission by the court to deny a Muslim student her right to wear the headscarve. Don Bosco High School is a Catholic institution which bans expressions of other faiths than Catholicism on school grounds.

Initially, the school did not have a policy about headscarves, but when the girl asked permission to wear one, the wheels of fury began to churn. The school headmaster argues, “we welcome students of any faith. But, we can only do so on the basis of respect. In our view that respect does not include walking around wearing all kinds of outward signs that you believe in something else.”

We are confused. If the school accepts someone who makes clear she is Muslim, and you accept her in the school, don’t you expect that she believes in her religion? One can only deduce from the comment that it is OK to retain another religion in one’s heart but never display it on your sleeve–or head!