Iden­tity is­sues in schools

Sunday Times - - News Sexuality -

Johannesburg's Jeppe High School for Girls made head­lines last month af­ter it threat­ened dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against a group of Mus­lim pupils for wear­ing the hi­jab (a head cov­er­ing worn by Mus­lim women) with the school uni­form.

The Gaut­eng ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment con­firmed it would meet the school on Tues­day to dis­cuss the is­sue.

Ron­ald White, chair­man of the school’s gov­ern­ing body, said the dis­pute arose af­ter the pupils wanted to wear a uni­form “which de­vi­ates from the school's code of con­duct”.

“There is cur­rently a pre­scribed dress code for Mus­lim learn­ers which was adopted in con­sul­ta­tion with the then Mus­lim com­mu­nity at the school.” He said the gov­ern­ing body gave pupils and their par­ents a chance to seek a con­ces­sion for an al­ter­na­tive uni­form, which re­quired them to ob­tain the ap­proval of the broader Mus­lim com­mu­nity at the school, but “no re­sponse was forth­com­ing and the trans­gress­ing learn­ers per­sisted in wear­ing the unau­tho­rised uni­form”. — Prega Goven­der

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