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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:
curryeater · 29/05/2013 11:51

"respect" is such a gagging, bludgeoning word when used in this way.

Obviously she cannot go into the place without dressing as she is asked to.
she can then choose whether to go in or not.
She should not be excluded from the other parts of the educational experience for being unwilling to take part in customs which arguably do not show her respect.

PunkHedgehog · 29/05/2013 12:02

I do think the stipulations sound very odd, though. Ask the school exactly where they are going and then contact wherever it is directly.

seeker · 29/05/2013 12:02

Scrub "respect"

Replace with "good manners"

I have no respect at all for religious beliefs. And that goes for all of them. But I do believe in good manners. If you are going into somebody's house you follow their customs, unless they are actively harmful, in which case you wouldn't be going into the house in the fist place.

burberryqueen · 29/05/2013 12:06

head covering is fine, there are plenty of religious places where that would be required, but covering her face? just no way, that is not demanded of little girls anywhere in the Koran or anywhere else AFAIK.

seeker · 29/05/2013 12:14

The face covering thing is obviously bonkers.

I simply don't believe that the OP got a letter from school saying "we're going on a trip to somewhere where the girls will have to cover their faces, it's going to cost £5" without saying where they are going. No way.

slug · 29/05/2013 13:03

If nothing else, it's a good lesson for your daughter in the way religions restrict women and girls freedom.

Justfornowitwilldo · 29/05/2013 13:23

That's very true Slug.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster · 29/05/2013 13:29

I live in the Middle East and don't have to cover my face if I visit a mosque, headscarf yes, long skirt or trousers and sleeves, but not face covered.

xylem8 · 29/05/2013 13:40

A primary school uniform is an outfit considered modest in the UK.She should not need to add anything to it.It is not her choice to go to the mosque.School is compulsory and she is wearing a primary school uniform which is considered completely appropriate and modest for UK school children.

HoHoHoNoYouDont · 29/05/2013 13:43

But I do believe in good manners. If you are going into somebody's house you follow their customs, unless they are actively harmful, in which case you wouldn't be going into the house in the first place

I agree with that. But I also think that if you were turned away from a place because you were not dressed to their liking then that would be bad manners on their part too.

OP, I think getting the correct information from the school or actually from the place they are visiting is the best way to go. Those posters who have already been and posted what was required of them don't seem to have had any problems at all. Sometimes these things get ridiculous especially when it's about religion.

edam · 29/05/2013 13:57

Good grief. The requirement to cover her face is outrageous and very possibly illegal, as schools have a duty not to discriminate on grounds of protected characteristics, including gender. Placing a hurdle that prevents any child in their right minds taking part in an educational experience, on grounds of gender, is extremely questionable.

I suspect, though, it may well be the school making assumptions rather than the mosque. Do let us know what the HT says. If it is indeed the mosque, then the school should not be visiting it - I'm sure they will find plenty of other mosques that are happy to welcome children without imposing bizarre dress rules. Wearing clothes that don't show bare arms or legs is reasonable - covering the face is not.

edam · 29/05/2013 13:59

If the headteacher insists on face covering for girls, contact the and Human Rights Commission for advice

nightingalefloor · 29/05/2013 14:03

xylem yes, but it's considered a modest outfit in the UK by western cultural standards. Mosques etc operate according to a completely different culture, in which it is considered disrespectful to enter a place of worship without your ankles and head covered. School uniform is appropriate for school, headscarf and ankles covered is appropriate for mosques. Follow the rules or don't go in, simple as that.

In some parts of Europe, it is normal for women to go in hot tubs at public swimming pools topless. Not compulsory, but perfectly normal. In this country, it is not the done thing, and any woman topless in a public pool hot tub would most likely be thrown out. According to the logic of some on this thread, a British woman in this situation should be thrown out, but in a Central/Eastern/South Eastern European country this is perfectly acceptable, so a woman from one of these backgrounds should be able to remain topless in a British public hot tub.

Not the most elegant example, but the point is, aspects of some cultures are perfectly acceptable within other cultures, while other aspects are not. There is no law against Muslim women wearing a headscarf in the UK as things stand, but there is a rule about women covering their head and ankles in Mosques, no matter what your own cultural background is. In situations in which your own cultural norm is not appropriate, you either conform or you don't get involved. Showing up inappropriately dressed and expecting to be allowed into a mosque anyway is completely unacceptable and downright rude.

ihearsounds · 29/05/2013 14:06

Once you know the name of the place and the school are still insisting on face covering, have a look on the place website. It will state dress code, print off and hand back to school.. I would be very suprised if face covered is a requirement, just over exxageration from a child that doesn't want to wear trousers to begin with.

I also, unlike some posters on her keep her at home. She would still be sent to school, otherwise what does this teach her? Don't want to do something, fine, you can stay at home instead.

HoHoHoNoYouDont · 29/05/2013 14:07

Dressing modestly is required of all of us every day in the form of uniforms, work wear etc. Unless you work at Hooters or a Lap Dancing bar you are not likely to go in wearing a bikini top. One should only be expected to dress a modestly as the next person and as edam said no one should be discriminated against in terms of characteristics or gender.

edam · 29/05/2013 14:10

the face covering requirement has been confirmed in writing, the OP says. It's not being invented by a naughty child, as some posters are suggesting.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude · 29/05/2013 14:22

As I said earlier, I don't think they mean covering the front of the face, its not a requirement in any religion. I simply think they mean a scarf that covers the sides of the face i.e. does up under the chin rather than a bandana.

FrameyMcFrame · 29/05/2013 14:31

Do the boys have to cover their faces?


Then refuse, it's discrimination on the basis of sex. Not on.

I remembering visiting the Vatican in Rome. Women were stopped from going in if they were wearing vest tops whereas men were just wandering in wearing shorts and flip flops - beer guts on display.

It's not fair really. Why should women and girls be subject to this bullshit?

VerySmallSqueak · 29/05/2013 14:32

I agree with wearing what is requested when entering a place of worship and I have the option of not entering the place of worship if I wish not to comply.

I think if it were down to me I would be keeping my DD at home that day.

But really it wouldn't be down to me,and if she really wanted to go,which I think she would,I would allow her to,and allow her to comply with the dress code required.

I would approach the school to question whether all of the request was completely necessary.

I would also have a discussion with my DD at home.

nightingalefloor · 29/05/2013 14:41

I'm not saying I agree with it Framey, but the fact remains that in Islamic society, girls have to cover their heads, boys do not. Women are subjected to it within Islam because it's traditional, and we as westerners are in no position to enforce our views of what is sexist and what isn't onto Islam. Either play by the rules or don't go.

If it makes you feel any better, if they were going to a synagogue the boys would have to cover their heads, the girls would not.

curryeater · 29/05/2013 14:50

Look this is ridiculous.
Unless this is a faith school, the school should not be teaching that the children have to obey the tenets of the faith while learning about it.

Some people won't feel at all compromised by dressing a certain way, but others, who do mind, should be given the chance to explore this sensibly before this fait accompli being presented. It is part of the education, and it is begging the question to say "What to learn about [name of religion]? Well follow [religious rule] and I will tell you."

Maybe this should be a lesson in school before the trip. Maybe it could take place on the coach on the way, on the basis that anyone who doesn't want to, doesn't have to finally go in. But if the school aren't doing it, then they should be clear about where they are going and what the religion is, and why the girls are being asked to dress a certain way, so that the parent can do this bit in advance at home (although it is actually a key part of the lesson and should be being covered by the school if they are taking them there)

PunkHedgehog · 29/05/2013 14:51

In some parts of Islamic society women have to - or are encouraged to - cover their heads (or more). Sometimes only in the mosque (where men also have to cover their heads), sometimes in all public places. But the rules don't usually apply before puberty.

youarewinning · 29/05/2013 14:56

Perhaps she could wear her summer dress with leggings? Then she can remove the leggings when not inside the place of worship?

Having an 8yo (DS) myself I get the billion of questions they pose us a minute a day. I also like to question my facts before I answer. I'm a fairly strict parent but my DS is still a person with opinion - I pend a lot of time telling him to say 'no' if he doesn't want to do something or doesn't think its right - therefore would certainly check my facts before forcing him to do something he was uncomfortable with.

LapsedPacifist · 29/05/2013 15:09

No places of worship of any flavour or variety require little girls visiting on school trips to cover their faces, that is just pure garbage. Sounds like the sort of crap the Daily Mail would peddle. Or the EDL.

seeker · 29/05/2013 15:13

Absolutely, LapsedPacifist.

I wonder where the OP's gone?

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