Schoolgirl Punished for Muslim Dress

May 14, 2005

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

On May 14, 2005 The Sydney Morning Herald reported, "When Yasamin Alttahir started wearing her mantoo to school more than two years ago, fellow Muslims congratulated her on the strength of her faith. But the body-length religious tunic has since landed the high achiever in trouble with her principal at Auburn Girls High, Sharon Ford. After disobeying Ms Ford's orders to stop wearing the mantoo in March, the 17-year-old Shiite Muslim from Smithfield was this week put on detention. Yasamin, who is in year 11, had drawn up a petition of more than 100 signatures from students, parents and members of her community supporting her case, but to no avail. She has accused the school of cultural insensitivity and says Ms Ford at one stage threatened her with suspension for continually breaching the school's uniform code and told her, 'Well, have you started looking for another school?' - claims the school denies. The NSW Government last year enshrined in its uniform policy a student's right to wear religious attire and ruled that students could not be suspended for doing so."