Mass. Charter School Student Gets Uniform Violation for Hijab

A Massachusetts charter school says it understands its “handling of the situation was insensitive” after an 8th-grader was written up for a uniform violation for wearing a hijab. A family member of a Mystic Valley Regional Charter School student posted a picture on social media Thursday of a “school uniform compliance form” the student received from a teacher for a hijab. In the breach description, the headscarf worn by Muslim women was misspelled as “jihab”. The school said in an emailed statement that it allows students to wear religious clothing “as an expression of their true beliefs,” but asks students to provide a letter “expressing this desire from members of their clergy.” Schools Superintendent Alex Tan said the student was not harmed and the form sent home was to start a conversation with the family about getting a religious accommodation. But Dan admits the situation was mishandled. “We want to reiterate. While the honor staff overseeing this process bears no responsibility for what happened, we understand that our handling of this situation was insensitive, and we look forward to using this moment as a learning opportunity to improve our policies and procedures,” the school’s statement said. Massachusetts Council on American-Islamic Relations The chapter says its attorneys representing the student’s family are investigating the situation. The student now wears a hijab at school, the group said. Amatul-Wadood said families don’t need to seek accommodations for wearing a hijab or other religious clothing. Ayani said. “The student never wanted to justify what she was wearing.” he said Sunday. “I don’t want them to make the argument that it needs shelter.” Mystic Valley Brandy The charter school also came under fire in 2017 for its policy of banning hair extensions. Parents of then-15-year-olds were punished for their black twin daughters wearing extensions, while white students were not punished for breaking hairstyle regulations. After fierce criticism, including from Democratic Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, the school abandoned the policy. In July, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law inspired by the incident that would ban discrimination based on natural and protective hairstyles such as afros, cornrows or tight curls.

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A Massachusetts charter school says it understands its “handling of the situation was insensitive” after an 8th-grader was written up for a uniform violation for wearing a hijab.

A family member of a Mystic Valley Regional Charter School student Posted on social media Picture of the “School Uniform Compliance Form” that the student received from the teacher for the hijab on Thursday. In the breach description, the headscarf worn by Muslim women was misspelled as “jihab”.

The school said in an emailed statement that it allows students to wear religious clothing “as an expression of their true beliefs,” but asks students to provide a letter “expressing this desire from members of their clergy.”

Schools Superintendent Alex Tan said there were no consequences for the student and that the form sent home was meant to start a conversation with the family about getting a religious accommodation. But Dan admits the situation was mishandled.

“We want to reiterate that the respected staff overseeing the process bear no responsibility for what happened, we understand that our handling of this situation was insensitive, and we look forward to using this moment as a learning opportunity to improve our policies and procedures,” the school’s statement said.

The Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says its attorneys are representing the student’s family and are investigating the situation. The student now wears a hijab at school, the group said.

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, executive director of CAIR-Massachusetts, said wearing a hijab or other religious dress does not necessarily mean families seek shelter.

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“That student never wanted to justify what she was wearing,” he said Sunday. “I don’t want them to rationalize that this requires accommodation.”

Mystic Valley Regional Charter School also came under fire in 2017 for its policy of banning hair extensions. Parents of then-15-year-olds were punished for their twin daughters, who were black, wearing extensions, while white students were not punished for breaking hairstyle regulations.

After fierce criticism, including from Democratic Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, the school dropped the policy.

In July, Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed it Act prompted by that incident To prohibit discrimination based on natural and protective hairstyles such as afros, cornrows or tightly coiled twists – in workplaces, school districts and school-related institutions in the state.

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