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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:
Hissy · 28/05/2013 18:58

I agree, the face covering sounds most odd, get the full picture from the HT, THEN make the decision.

FWIW, it's traditional to cover heads in church, and respectful not to go in bare legged, short/short skirts, bare shouldered for EITHER sex.

blueemerald · 28/05/2013 18:58

This website for a large mosque in Turkey even states on the website that faces should not be covered, only hair.

And this travel guide for Palestine states that it is rarely necessary to cover your face.

FreyaSnow · 28/05/2013 19:09

'FWIW, it's traditional to cover heads in church, and respectful not to go in bare legged, short/short skirts, bare shouldered for EITHER sex.'

I am from a very religious Christian family and have family members of other Christian denominations (as well as Muslim family members). I entirely disagree that it is disrespectful to go to church with bare legs or bare shoulders in the major denominations.

There is cultural etiquette that we mostly don't wear head coverings indoors in the the UK, including churches, but it is not about respecting Christian belief. It is just English etiquette that some people still adhere to.

xylem8 · 28/05/2013 19:26

We had an almighty bunfight when a school trip to a mosque was proposed.The school were trying to imposes the headscarf/trouser regime until one of the parents contacted the mosque direct.
The mosque's response was that the children were guests and they wanted them to feel at ease. Normal school uniform ie summer dress and socks was fine and they would consider it a great mark of respect r if they wanted to wear a baseball cap etc but certainly there was no obligation .So fuck knows why the school made up all the stuff about trousers and headscarves

DiscoDonkey · 28/05/2013 19:28

Maybe because they would consider it a great mark of respect? Confused

SuffolkNWhat · 28/05/2013 19:34

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FarBetterNow · 28/05/2013 19:50

I am female and was brought up RC and remember the days when all women members of the congregation wore a head covering, whether it was a proper hat or a black lace mantilla.
Men definately took there hats off before entering the church.

I was surprised to be asked to take my hat off when entering Wells Cathedral recently.

Please tell your daughter that it is a sign of repect to wear what is requested.

WireCatWhore · 28/05/2013 19:58

Sounds like she might be going to a Gurdwara.

My daughter needed a scarf to cover her head & her legs covered.

abitlikemollflanders · 28/05/2013 20:00

I am another one who would ask the teachers to check with the Mosque/place of worship.

When I arranged a local brownie trip to the Mosque, I had told the girls to cover their hair with scarves. When we actually visited, the Imam said that although adult women were expected to cover their hair, young girls were not (although some of our girls did anyway as we had discussed it as being a mark of respect prior to the trip). They also had to remove their shoes-we warned them beforehand so no holey socks!

FWIW, the Imam at the Mosque was wonderful and discussed the many links between Islam and Christianity. The fact that they also believe that Jesus existed but saw him as a prophet. We all thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
I don't think it is a bad thing for children to understand that they may have to do small things to show respect for others and that they should learn to adapt tho their surroundings.
I hope your daughter enjoys her trip.

BabylonReturns · 28/05/2013 20:13

Sorry, I had to do bedtime!

I will clarify with HT next week and report back duly.

OP posts:
MalcolmTuckersMum · 28/05/2013 20:25

Firstly - she's 8. If she has to wear trousers for a small portion of one day to partake in a learning experience - tough titty. She'll have to wear trousers. Since when did every second of life become about always getting exactly what we want?
Secondly - This -

Or don't go if you haven't the social capability to not offend someone else

Just don't bloody send her then. What's with all the angst? If you think you're doing a better job of her education by keeping her back from a learning experience to satisfy whatever right on crusade you're on today -go for it! Shhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh.

outtolunchagain · 28/05/2013 20:40

But Malcolm it's not that simple is it , for me he issue would be that 8 year old girls being asked to cover their faces where their male classmates were not and what message that would send out.

With an older age group I would expect this to lead to discussions around oppression versus freedom of religious/ cultural norms etc.
At 8 I am not sure that the children would be able to absorb this and I am not sure about what message my putative daughter would be getting .

FreyaSnow · 28/05/2013 20:49

DD, except the mosque Xylem mentioned didn't consider it a mark of great respect to impose such rules. It is just a bunch of people at a school, usually racist white people, making up a rule that Muslims in general, or people at mosques, think that primary school age girls need to hide their legs, when Muslims in the UK don't think that at all. And then the racist white people who invent ignorant versions of other people's cultures for them call other (usually white) people ignorant when they don't want to follow a pretend rule that racist white people have invented.

I don't believe for a moment that people at a place of worship in the UK has asked for primary school age girls to cover their faces for a school visit.

EglantinePrice · 28/05/2013 21:00

So true freya

MalcolmTuckersMum · 28/05/2013 21:27

outtolunch - HAS that actually happened?

outtolunchagain · 28/05/2013 22:16

The OP says that the girls have been told that they will have the cover the lower half of their faces , the boys will not be required to do this.

I suspect that in fact this will not be necessary but if it is required I would have concerns .

Jux · 28/05/2013 22:51

I think that the sexes being treated differently could turn the next generation of girls into strong feminists. There's nothing like being treated unjustly like this to strengthen resolve not to allow it to happen once an adult.

It would be a very good talking point too for the whole class.

LiegeAndLief · 28/05/2013 23:00

I've visited mosques in different Muslim countries and have always covered my head but never my face. As pp have said, seems highly unlikely for young girls.

Buzzardbird · 28/05/2013 23:21

Think the girls had probably made it up after watching an old episode of Arabian nights or something. They will be telling you next that the girls have to wear burhkas and the boys open necked white satin shirts and medallions. Hmm

Jan49 · 28/05/2013 23:25

I think religions that have dress requirements of worshippers often don't apply those requirements to people who are merely visitors, not of that religion. I wonder if the school has just made up those requirements based on what they think is usually required of worshippers.

My ds attended various outings involving religious buildings whilst at school and I don't think any of them required a dress code for boys or girls. I think they had to take their shoes off at the door for some trips. I'm sure girls were never told to cover their heads.

I've just been on a tour of an Orthodox synagogue today (mostly adults). Both men and women were allowed and encouraged to walk all around the main area where services take place which is usually strictly for men and the area above where only women sit. The speaker joked that men should make the most of their opportunity to be up on the balcony as they would never see it if they came for a service. There were no requests regarding dress code.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude · 29/05/2013 00:09

I did wonder if the face covering just refers to a scarf you can tie under your chin, like the Queen, rather than a rap style bandana?

sashh · 29/05/2013 05:43

Those rules in the UK have not existed for a really, really long time.

Tell that to the nuns who insisted on covered heads at the RC primary I attended.

The rules vary by denomination and geography.


Send her with a scarf and a pair of tights to put on for the trip

Jenny70 · 29/05/2013 08:40

Our ks2 class went to the main mosque in london, and no such note came home. Just asked DS and he said female teachers had to completely cover head & face, but not students.

Tights/trousers would be ok, but head/face covering for children seems ott to me.

Scholes34 · 29/05/2013 09:45

At the end of the day it all comes down to respect. OP, your DD needs to understand that her likes and dislikes have to be balanced up against being respectful of the environment she'll be going to.

PunkHedgehog · 29/05/2013 11:31

And if the environment she's going to has no respect for women - what then? Whose 'respect' should come first?

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