STOP THE ISLAMOPHOBIA
Camden School for Girls Sixth Form has refused to allow a 16-year-old student to study at the school as she wears a niqab. A niqab is a full veil that covers part of the face, only revealing the eyes.
The student has been studying at Camden School for Girls for 5 years. She sat her GCSEs this summer, and initially received a C in English language — which meant she could not attend the sixth form. However, just a few weeks ago, the school called her up and informed her that she actually achieved an A grade, meaning that she could attend the sixth form she had been intending to go to. This was amazing, right? She would be back with the same teachers, friends and place again.
But there was one problem: the niqab. The student only started to wear the niqab this year, and even sat her GCSE exams wearing the veil. But this time, when the student returned to the school, wearing the niqab, a teacher claimed that she could not be allowed to study at the school.
The reasons have ranged from ‘communication’ to ‘health and safety’ to ‘security’.
This clearly seems to have come out of nowhere. In fact, after talking with a few past students of Camden School for Girls, there have been students who wore the niqab in the past. This is a fact that the school deny — they refuse to acknowledge that there were past students who wore the full veil.
Surely there must be some way around this situation? Maybe a compromise? For example, if the issue is about identity, the student could always show her face to female members of staff who could confirm her identity — many teachers have known her for 5 years, after all. Additionally, the installation of a new biometric entry system into the school (which uses fingerprints from students) should mean that security is less of a problem.
But after a petition signed by over 200 students at Camden School for Girls and an unsuccessful meeting, the student was given a final ultimatum:
Take off the veil or leave.
This school is renowned for its ‘individuality’ and ‘strong feminist views’. However, this poorly thought out decision made by the school contradicts this. What happened to ‘freedom of expression’? Basic human rights? What someone chooses to wear does not affect anyone else.
What we feel most strongly about is that there has been no discussion, no real attempt to find a middle ground, especially with the strong voices of students on this.
Why should a personal choice of deciding to wear religious dress affect their education?
------ PLEASE NOTE: This is a petition about freedom of expression and religion. Please do not use this as a platform to attack other religions. Any hateful comments will be reported. ------
- Camden School for Girls
STOP THE ISLAMOPHOBIA
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