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DDs school trip and expected attire.....

164 replies

BabylonReturns · 28/05/2013 16:32

Right, I'm perfectly prepared for a roasting/flaming whatever, but please please please understand I'm not posting this to be goady or otherwise.

If you think IABU then I will accept that graciously, I'm asking as I'm really not sure.

Ok, second week back after half term, DDs school (ks2) are going on a trip as part of their religious studies education. The trip costs £5, no problem.

As yet, I am unaware exactly where the trip will be, but have been advised in writing that boys are expected to wear long trousers and girls should wear tights or trousers and will be expected to cover their hair and lower half of their faces in accordance with cultural requirements in a place of worship.

DD isn't very happy about wearing tights or trousers in June, she's very much a summer dress kind of girl regardless of the weather Hmm
She certainly isn't happy about covering her face up, doesn't mind her hair being coves as often wears a cap or hat, but really doesn't want to wear a scarf over her face.

So AIBU to make her wear the scarf, and would a mumsnet scarf be ok?? I don't really do scarves so a mn one is all I have! DH is saying he would prefer her not to go at all, and if the roles were reversed, would the cultural wearers of the scarves be asked to remove them to enter our local church?

Again I just want to reiterate I'm not looking for a bun fight regarding religions, I accept that different cultures do different things, and that's fine, but if my dd is expected to do as they do when visiting them in their place of worship, are they expected to do the same and fit in with us in our place of worship?

I'm sure I haven't conveyed this well at all Confused

OP posts:
seeker · 28/05/2013 16:51

!" DH is saying he would prefer her not to go at all, and if the roles were reversed, would the cultural wearers of the scarves be asked to remove them to enter our local church?"

Well, if it was a requirements of the Christian faith that women shouldn't wear scarves then possibly. As it isn't, it's just a silly argument.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude · 28/05/2013 16:51

I think there is a mix up about the face covering, its not a requirement in any religion (its optional in Islam for adults). I wonder if they mean the neck and chest area.

DS1 had to cover his hair in a gurdwara and I cover my hair if I go into a mosque.

NoelHeadbands · 28/05/2013 16:52

So your place of worship is your local church, that you rarely go into anyway because you're not really religious?

In that case, I would say that 'they' probably wouldn't be required to remove their headscarves, no

BobStrangeNameforaGirl · 28/05/2013 16:52

Surely a visit to different places of worship is exactly how we should be educating our children? I'd encourage her to go and dress respectfully. It's only a day and by enjoying the trip with friends and finding out about the faith, she's broadening her horizons. Education is the silver bullet when it comes to xenophobia.

BabylonReturns · 28/05/2013 16:52

"Stop treating her like a princess"

^ that is the funniest thing ever said to me about my dd!! If you ever met us, you'd soon see I really don't treat her like a princess. I do however treat her like an individual person with thousand and feelings, and at 8 years old she is able to express an opinion about whether she likes something or not - whether she gets her own way is another matters entirely!

It's honestly not about starting a bun fight, I am ignorant with regard to religion and I admit that. I'm being told I being unreasonable, I accept that, dd will go on trip with scarf and do as she is told. I don't want her to miss out.

As for summery trousers, they're either grey or black as they have to wear uniform. No summer dresses apparently, as I expect she needs to have her legs covered like the boys do.

OP posts:
FreyaSnow · 28/05/2013 16:53

There has been a thread about this before. You don't mention what religion the place of worship is part of. Certainly there are organisations that deal with visits to mosques, and covering of the head and face is not required at the mosques in question. If it is a mosque, the school is at fault for choosing a particular mosque that is raising issues of gender inequality. They should have gone through Muslim educational organisations and found an an appropriate venue.

If it is another religion, the same presumably applies. There are plenty of churches - Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Greek Orthodox that do not require girls to cover their faces.

AViewFromTheFridge · 28/05/2013 16:53

When visiting cathedrals in Italy (in Pisa and the Vatican), if shoulders weren't covered the cathedral had blue paper shawl-things for guests to wear. If you refused to wear them, you weren't allowed in.

It's about respect.

TheBigJessie · 28/05/2013 16:54


When did people stop knowing that it is rather preferred that one cover one's head in a church? How did it get replaced with "they should take their scarves off in our churches then,hur hur"?

HoHoHoNoYouDont · 28/05/2013 16:55

Are the boys having to cover their faces?

BabylonReturns · 28/05/2013 16:56

The boys don't have to cover their faces no, just their legs.

OP posts:
ChazsBrilliantAttitude · 28/05/2013 16:56

Just for balance

Here is the dress code for visiting the Vatican - you can't just wear what you want.

St.Peter's Basilica & Sisteen Chapel/Vatican Museums Dress Code:
Men should wear long pants and short sleeves t-shirts or shirts are OK but no vest tops.
Jeans are OK, official rules state no shorts.
As summers can be very hot the Vatican do sometimes relax the rules and allow Men to wear shorts however it is worth noting that this may not always be the case and the official dress code does state no shorts.
It is good perhaps to carry a pair of long pants with you in case or wear the cargo style pants that allow you to unzip the lower legs to create shorts when needed.
Men should also be aware that hats need to be removed before entering any church or Chapel which includes St Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.

Women can wear trousers, capri pants and skirts and dresses are permitted however they cannot be shorter than knee length and shoulders must be covered.
In very hot weather a shawl or large scarf/Pashmina can be draped around the shoulders for visiting the sites.
Bare shoulders and short skirts are not permitted and again come prepared to cover up if wearing shorts.

curryeater · 28/05/2013 16:56

She will have to wear what she is asked to to go into the place, but she shouldn't have to wear anything in particular to learn about it, or the religion.

Is this a "comparative religions" type syllabus? (as opposed to a "we believe" type syllabus in a faith school?) If so she should not be excluded from any of the educational material for not adhering to the tenets of one particular faith.

If she really doesn't want to, she should ask to take part in the day up to the point where she becomes femina-non-grata in her preferred style of clothes, and at that point a representative of the faith should explain to her why she can go no further.

BabylonReturns · 28/05/2013 16:56

I also never knew it was preferable to have heads covered in church.

OP posts:
MadamFolly · 28/05/2013 16:57

I am very surprised she has to cover her face, I have taken children to Gurdwaras, Mosques, Synagogues, Hindu temples and various Orthodox churches. In some everyone had to cover their hair, some only the females but never the faces.

Are you sure she has to cover her face and wasn't just told that was what some women do and got confused?

DiscoDonkey · 28/05/2013 16:57

Then I'm sure what the point of your post is? If you don't object to the idea of your dd wearing a scarf then what point is it your trying to make?

RevoltingPeasant · 28/05/2013 16:58

I think the argument about what you'd do in a Christian church is a red herring and not particularly helpful.

But it is quite important for a girl growing up in today's Britain to grapple with the fact that some religions and cultures treat women differently to men. You might see this as discrimination. You might see it as empowered women of that culture making their own choice to differentiate themselves. It is a tough idea for many secular Western women to get their heads around, and DD needs to encounter it sooner or later.

I don't think she is a being 'a princess' for having qualms: being treated differently to the boys must go against practically all the messages she has heard in her schooling so far. It's okay to feel weird about that and to discuss that. IMO.

musicmadness · 28/05/2013 16:59

I'm surprised that she has to cover her face, I've not heard of anywhere (in the UK) where that is a requirement for adults let alone children. I'd ask the school if they have decided on this rule rather than the place you are visiting.

I remember visiting a Mosque and a Gurdwara as a child, and both times I had to have my head covered and make sure arms and legs were covered. It's a sign of respect, and isn't really a big deal. It's just normal school uniform and a headscarf/hat.

Phineyj · 28/05/2013 16:59

I have never heard of schoolchildren being asked to cover their faces for an RS trip, how bizarre. Especially primary school aged ones. Surely most modesty rules apply after adolescence?

JenaiMorris · 28/05/2013 17:00

Forget the religion aspect for a moment - your child and her friends are to be guests in this place. They have a particular expectation re what their guests wear.

If you were going to a restaurant after a day on the beach, your husband would expect to put a shirt on. If you were visiting friends with a shoes-off house, you're remove your shoes.

It is about being polite and having the good grace to respect other people's way of doing things. Anything else it just terrible manners.

allmycats · 28/05/2013 17:00

this should not be about religion at all, simply a matter of the girl complying with the rules imposed to allow her to participate in a school trip and IMO it is quite simple - she does as they ask or she does not go.
there was no reason at all to mention religion.

MushroomSoup · 28/05/2013 17:00

Can't she take a pair of leggings to put on under her school dress? That's what my girls did

cory · 28/05/2013 17:01

Traditional Christian custom (derived from St Paul) dictates that men should have their head uncovered in church and women should have it covered.

Most western churches have relaxed the rules as far as women are concerned, but not for men: wearing a hat during the service would still be seen as very disrespectful.

threesypeesy · 28/05/2013 17:01

If she feels uncomfortable don't send her, I wouldn't force my child into changing their appearance to suit another religion that isn't their own!!

FreyaSnow · 28/05/2013 17:01

It isn't considered preferable in most UK churches to cover your head. Priests usually don't cover their heads in churches.

JenaiMorris · 28/05/2013 17:02

Typos galore there.

It still makes sense though I think Grin

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