The mother of a 13-year-old Muslim schoolgirl is up in arms after a teacher allegedly ripped her doekie from her head.
The meisie was banned by the principal from wearing her scarf at school in the month of Ramadaan.
Principal Petersen of De Grendel High School in Milnerton wrote the family a letter, in which he explained he did “research” on the internet and found that it wasn’t required for girls to wear hijaab during Ramadaan.
Mom Jawayah Schroeder says she wrote the palie a letter on 29 May, asking if it was OK for her daughter Zakiyah to wear her doek for the pwasa, which started on 27 May.
The single mom of three says Petersen replied the next day, rejecting her request after doing “extensive research on Ramadaan and its rules”.
But it appears instead of approaching a local Muslim authority, or even a mosque, Petersen consulted Google, where he found the website of the Islamic Association of Raleigh, located in North Carolina, USA.
“According to the Islamic Association of Raleigh, there are two essential elements of the fast: intention and abstaining,” states a letter signed by Petersen.
“Unfortunately, I could not find any rule or recommendation that can prove the fact that wearing a hijab is compulsory during the month of Ramadan. [sic]
“As a hijab is not part of De Grendel School’s school outfit, according to the school Conduct and School Dress-code Policy, we cannot permit Zakiyah to wear such attire. (a hijab) to school.”
Jawayah says her daughter usually wears her doekie around her neck at school, and hides it under her jacket as they are not allowed to wear scarves.
But she says her daughter was determined to wear her doek in the pwasa, and put her scarf on her head Wednesday 31 May.
That’s when the teacher allegedly ripped the girl’s scarf off.
“Zakiyah wore her hijab to school and it was ripped off her head by a teacher; it’s not like she was wearing a klopse gear,” Jawayah wrote on the Facebook page, Muslim Mums in Cape Town.
LACK: Palie 'researched pwasa rules'. CREDIT: Facebook
The Daily Voice yesterday contacted the school who said they will not be commenting to the media.
Provincial education department spokesperson Millicent Merton said Petersen, who was “newly appointed”, was wrong to ban Zakiyah’s doekie, and will be reprimanded.
“We believe the simplest approach would be for the school to adjust dress codes to meet these requirements,” says Merton.
“In terms of the Constitution, as quoted by the [school] guidelines, schools should not prohibit attire such as yarmulkes and headscarves if they form part of religious practice.
“If there is any doubt on the issue, then schools may ask for parents to submit a letter from a religious teacher or organisation to substantiate a request for a change in the dress code.
“The principal is newly appointed and will receive the necessary guidance on the issue.
“The learner will immediately be allowed to wear a headscarf.”