On October 11, 2003 Reuters reported that "an 11-year-old Oklahoma girl has been suspended from a public school because officials said her Muslim head scarf violates dress code policies. Board officials met Friday to discuss the fate of suspended sixth-grader Nashala "Tallah" Hern, who was asked to leave school in the eastern Oklahoma town of Muskogee on October 1 because she refused to remove her head scarf. School officials instituted a dress code in 1997 prohibiting the wearing of hats and other head coverings indoors. Officials said they implemented the code to stem gang-related activity. Hern declined to remove her hijab, saying it would violate the way she observes her religion. "