Update: Case Settled Over Headscarves in the Classroom in OK

May 19, 2004

Source: The Associated Press


On May 19, 2004 The Associated Press reported, "A sixth-grade Muslim girl in Oklahoma can wear a head scarf to school under a settlement between the school district and the Justice Department, officials announced Wednesday. The six-year agreement, filed in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma, also requires the Muskogee Public School District to change its dress code to allow exceptions for religious reasons. 'This settlement reaffirms the principle that public schools cannot require students to check their faith at the schoolhouse door,' said R. Alexander Acosta, assistant attorney general for civil rights. The government filed suit in March on behalf of 11-year-old Nashala Hearn. She had been suspended twice by the district for wearing a head scarf, or hijab, to class. School officials said her clothing violated a dress code banning hats and other head coverings."