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Girl sent home from school – skirt too long

A secondary school student near Paris was accused of wearing provocative clothing and sent back home. The school thought her skirt was too long, and conveyed religious values. 

 

 

Girl sent home from school - skirt too long
Maria Morri/ What the girl's skirt may have looked like.

“Other students come dressed up as hippies or goths and nobody says anything,” the girl, Khadija, told the French daily Le Parisien, “but I’m not even allowed to wear a gypsy skirt.”

“If I had come to school wearing a veil I would have understood their reaction,” says Khadija, who is a student at the Edmond-Rostand secondary school at Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône near Paris. 

On Monday, Khadija was sent home from school for wearing a long skirt that according to the school conveyed religious values.

“It was a beautiful day, I wore a long skirt,” says Khadija, “the headmistress told me I was being provocative and sent me home.”

An official belonging to the local academic authority however denies Khadija was expelled from the school and says the skirt had only been “commented on”.

“She takes her veil off before entering the school, but it’s our role to make comments to pupils who wear provocative clothes. We do the same with a girl who comes to school with a bare belly,” said the unnamed official in an interview with Le Parisien. 

In 2004, a ban on religious symbols in schools came into effect, meaning Muslims girls were no longer allowed to wear a veil in class.

Khadija however believes the school is not allowed to comment on her clothes and insists she will not shorten her skirts.

EDUCATION

Schools to close as French teachers strike over Covid rules

Around three-quarters of French teachers plan to go on strike onThursday to protest the government's shifting rules on Covid testing for students, forcing the closure of half the country's primary schools, a union said Tuesday.

Schools to close as French teachers strike over Covid rules
Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP

The strike led by the Snuipp-FSU union, the largest among primary school teachers, comes after the latest of several changes on testing and isolation requirements for potential Covid cases announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex late Monday.

After seeing long lines of parents outside pharmacies and labs in recent days to test children in classes where a case was detected, Castex said home tests could now be used to determine if a student could return to school.

But teachers say class disruptions have become unmanageable with the spread of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.

“Students cannot learn properly because attendance varies wildly, and a hybrid of in-house and distance learning is impossible to put in place,” the Snuipp-FSU said, adding that absent teachers are not being replaced.

It is also demanding the government provide facemasks for staff, including the more protective FFP2 masks, and CO2 monitors to check if classrooms are sufficiently ventilated.

“Not only does the current protocol not protect students, staff or their families, it has completely disorganised schools,” the union said, claiming that classes have effectively been turned into “daycare centres.”

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has said the government is doing everything possible to avoid outright school closures that could cause havoc for parents and jeopardise learning for thousands, especially those in low-income families.

“I know there is a lot of fatigue, of anxiety… but you don’t go on strike against a virus,” Blanquer told BFM television on Tuesday.

As of Monday some 10,000 classes had been shut nationwide because of Covid cases, representing around two percent of all primary school classes, Blanquer said.

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