A UK school faces backlash after threatening a 12-year-old Muslim schoolgirl with expulsion for “refusing to wear a short skirt.”
Siham Hamud, a student at West London’s Uxbridge Highschool in Middlesex, England, was sent home in December for wearing an ankle-length skirt.
The school claimed that Hamud’s skirt violates the school’s dress code, denying her entry on the school grounds every day for almost a month for declining to wear a shorter skirt.
Speaking to The Guardian, Siham’s father, Idris Hamud, said short skirts contradict the family’s religious beliefs. The school has now threatened him and his wife, Salma Yusuf, with legal action over their daughter’s alleged unauthorized absences.
“All Siham wants to do is to wear a skirt which is a few centimetres longer than her classmates, and I don’t know why the school has such a problem with this. She is sent home to change into a shorter skirt then return to school later that day – but she isn’t going to change her beliefs in an hour,” he said.
And Siham says she is “confused,” by her school’s lack of acceptance.
“It makes me feel left out because I can’t see my friends. They aren’t accepting me for my religion and that’s wrong,” Siham told the publication. “I feel confused and annoyed that I can’t wear what I want for my religion. I hope they’ll change their rules so that girls like me wear skirts to school.”
The UK has not officially banned the wearing of the hijab in schools and other religious attire. There are currently seven nations in Europe that have banned the hijab, Germany Austria, Denmark, France, Belgium, Latvia, and Bulgaria. However, individual schools in the UK can implement their own dress code.
Nigel Clemens, the school’s principal, said: “This matter is currently subject to examination through the formal school complaints policy. It would therefore not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”