Zoe Williams writes on the privatization of state schools in Britain.
Many of the problems associated with free schools are related to the fact that they’re run by faith organisations. But faith schools have been around for decades without letting in the kind of injustice parents complain of now.
In Derby, a headteacher at a Muslim free school left, complaining, among other things, that girls were being asked to sit at the back of the class. Elsewhere there is talk of discrimination on the basis of caste; documented faith provision that doesn’t reflect the local demographic (a Jewish primary school in Wandsworth, a borough that only has 1,600 Jewish constituents in total)…
Girls were being asked to sit at the back of the class? Let’s take a look at that. It’s from the Derby Telegraph, about the Al-Madinah school in Derby.
A FORMER teacher at a school accused of ordering female staff to wear a hijab – an Islamic scarf – claims she quit over pressure to follow Muslim dress code.
The Derby Telegraph revealed exclusively on Friday claims that the city’s Al-Madinah School had imposed a strict dress code, made female pupils sit at the back of classes and told staff they could not take non-halal food into school or wear jewellery.
This is, remember, not a private school, it’s a state school, in the US known as a public school. (Notice also that Zoe Williams actually softened it – she said the girls were asked to sit in the back, but the linked article says they were made to sit in the back.)
The teacher wasn’t told ahead of time that she would be required to “cover her head”; that was sprung on her at an induction session just before the school opened. She reluctantly complied while in the classroom, but then was hassled for not wearing it outside the classroom. Then it got even more so.
The teacher, who does not want to be named, said she began to be “hassled” about the rest of her clothing and, on one occasion, was sent a text from the school saying it “insisted on” a “modest dress code. Full length dress or skirt acceptable”.
She said she asked how her outfit – a business suit – was not modest. “The skirt was well below the knee and I wore thick black tights that covered my legs.”
She said she was offended at the suggestion that she had dressed immodestly in the workplace.
The teacher said she was particularly angry after she was told to take instructions from two male teachers about what was considered “modest”. She said: “I wrote back to the head pointed out that ‘in nearly 20 years in teaching, I have always dressed in a professional manner’.
After starting at the school when it opened in September 2012, she claims it was October before the dress code was issued in a handbook to all staff, which indicated that they should only have their faces and hands uncovered when in the school.
Because every bit of the rest of them is pure genitalia. They really shouldn’t be allowed at all.
“I also objected to the school’s policy of sitting girls at the back of classrooms, to no avail. The reason given was that girls are allowed to look at boys but the boys are not allowed to look at the girls, but how can that be good for the children’s education?”
Yeah, that’s what the back of the bus has always been about – who gets to look at whom. Right.
The dress code is included:
Al-MADINAH’S STAFF DRESS CODE
AL-MADINAH is an Islamic Free school. Within the school we value and esteem our teachers and consider them to be strong role models for all of the students and representatives of the school with all external individuals and organisations. We wish to create an Islamic environment within the school for the sake of the students and to cater for the sensitivities of the community. Although some of the following points are not Islamically-binding upon all individuals except those who wish to adhere to the faith by choice, Al-Madinah School has adopted them as a code of dress for all teachers.
The code of dress for teachers has been adopted by the school and all teachers must adhere to it. By signing the contract of employment with Al-Madinah school all employees agree to adhere to this policy.
1. Clothing must cover the entire body, only the hands, face and feet may remain visible
2. The material must not be so thin that one can see through it.
3. The clothing must hang loose so that the shape of the body is not apparent.
4. The design of the clothing must not display any symbols of other faiths.
5. All clothing must be full sleeved and all lower body garments must be loose and covering to the ankles.
6. Skirts must be ankle length and must be loose and flowing.
7. Teachers should not wear overt jewellery or clothing accessories.
8. Wearing of the Niqab or Burqa during work hours is not permitted.
Allah has stated in the Quran that women must guard their modesty. “Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof.” (Quran: 24.31)
“Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty that will make for greater purity for them, and God is well acquainted with all they do.” (Quran:24.30)
“To cater for the sensitivities of the community” bollocks. One doesn’t “cater” to “sensitivities” of that kind. People are “sensitive” about Other Races, about foreigners, about immigrants, about The Lower Orders, about untouchables, about The Gayz, about The Feminist Menace, about all sorts of stupid shit. Do not cater to such phobias.
(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)