Dress code

Girl banned from school in France because her skirt was too religious

A 15-year-old French Muslim student was told by school officials that her long black maxi-skirt could have been a ‘provocation’

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Twitter/@MailOnline

A 15-year-old Muslim girl was barred from attending class at a school in Charleville-Mezieres, France, earlier this month because her long skirt was deemed too religious, and now the international community is responding with outrage on Twitter. School officials have reportedly backed the head teacher’s decision to ban the student from class, saying in a statement that the skirt was a “provocation,” according to AFP. In 2004, France passed a law that prohibits students from wearing religious symbols in schools.

Many are expressing criticism on Twitter using the hashtag , which translates to ‘I wear my skirt as I please.’  At a time when maxi-skirts are commonplace on Paris fashion runways, and dress codes usually dictate that girls cover up more skin rather than less, the move is being called Islamophobic, discriminatory, and sexist.

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, there is increased discussion about France’s laïcité, or state secularism, and whether it’s being fairly applied.

https://twitter.com/duaakhair/status/593358634404438017

Does religious clothing have a place in schools? The issue continues to spark controversy for countries like France and the US, blurring lines between freedom of expression and separation of church and state. While France’s rule on hijabs and long skirts attempts to preserve secularism, the US government treats the issue differently. In 2004, the federal government intervened in support of a Muslim student who had been suspended twice for wearing her hijab to an Oklahoma public school.

Students protest the school dress code at Stuyvesant High School, in New York, June 6, 2012, wearing tank tops and spaghetti-strap blouses and pants and skirts shorter than allowed. Angel Franco/The New York Times

In New York, Students protest the school dress code at Stuyvesant High School, wearing tank tops and spaghetti-strap blouses and pants and skirts shorter than allowed. Angel Franco/The New York Times

Dress codes in public schools have become a hot-button issue in the US and are often criticized for focusing on girls. Just last week, a dumbfounded father spoke out about his daughter’s kindergarten forcing her to cover up her shoulders. And last year, students took to Twitter with the hashtag #iammorethanadistraction.

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