News

French Muslim Schoolgirl Sent Home for Skirt Being Too Long

French Muslim Schoolgirl Sent Home for Skirt Being Too Long

Female students at a private Muslim school in Toulouse/Getty Images
Female students at a private Muslim school in Toulouse/Getty Images

A 15-year-old Muslim girl in France was sent home from school for wearing a long black skirt after it was deemed a violation of the country’s ban on religious clothing in state schools.

The girl, named as Sarah K, was sent home twice in one month from the Léo Lagrange High School in the eastern town of Charleville-Mézières. According to a local education official, Patrice Dutot, the girl was “asked to come back with neutral clothing and it seems her father did not want the pupil to return to school.”

Sarah K told local newspaper L’Ardennais that her skirt was “nothing special, it’s very simple, there’s nothing conspicuous. There’s no religious sign at all.”

France’s controversial 2004 ban on religious symbols and clothing in public schools covers all “ostentatious signs of religion”, including the Jewish yarmulke, Christian crosses, Muslim veils and Sikh turbans.

However, the ban is perceived by many to disproportionately target the Islamic veil, to the point where it is often referred to as the “French veil ban” in international media. It is understood that Sarah K was not wearing a headscarf when she was sent home, having removed it before entering the school.

Sarah K’s story prompted widespread outrage both inside and outside the country. At one point, the hashtag #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux (“I wear my skirt as I please”) was trending on Twitter in France. The hashtag has had more than 45,000 tweets since Tuesday.

According to Léo Lagrange’s head teacher, the decision to send Sarah K home came in the context of “other more visible incidents related to the wearing of headscarves.” Approximately 130 schoolgirls were sent home last year in the country for wearing long skirts according to the Collective Against Islamophobia in France.

In 2011, France banned the full-face veil – also known as the niqab or burqa – in public places, and was the first European country to do so. The ban attracted wide criticism, particularly from outside the country, from those who saw it as an affront to freedom of expression.

However, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban in July 2014 after a case against it was raised by an unnamed 24-year-old French Muslim woman. The woman argued that the ban was “inhumane and degrading and against the right of respect for family and private life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion”, also labelling the ban as “discriminatory”.

ISIS Claims First Attack in the USA
Surveillance Cameras to be Deployed Nationwide in Egypt

Subscribe to our newsletter


News
@daliaeldaba

Dalia is an Egyptian writer and journalist. Currently, she is particularly interested in raising awareness about the historical and current labour and feminist movements in the Arab world.

More in News

Two Christians Killed by Militants in Egypt’s North Sinai amid Growing Attacks on Copts

Toqa EzzidinFebruary 23, 2017

#StopTheWait: Messi Visits Egypt to Promote Affordable Hepatitis C Treatment and Tourism

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 22, 2017

More Visas for Less African Immigrants: Europe’s Offer to Egypt

Aya NaderFebruary 22, 2017

Opening Female Gyms in Saudi Arabia: Saudi Women Unhurriedly Acquire Basic Rights

Toqa EzzidinFebruary 22, 2017

Egypt Agricultural Exports Surge after Currency Float

Seif GhallabFebruary 22, 2017

Russia to deliver 50 MiG-29 fighters to Egypt on Schedule: Report

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 22, 2017

Globally Renowned Consulting Firms to Lead Reform of Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum

Seif GhallabFebruary 21, 2017

11 Sentenced to Death for Port Said Massacre, Celebrations Held

Aya NaderFebruary 20, 2017
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.