WILMINGTON — A US Muslim school and five of its families will receive $50,000 total as part of a settlement with a Delaware city where several children were asked to leave a public pool because of their Islamically-covering cotton garments, Ottawa Citizen reported.
“I think this has been a challenging situation for the children to navigate. A lot of the kids impacted and removed from the pool were young children, many of them preschool age, who would go home crying and ask why people hated Muslims,” said attorney Juvaria Khan of Muslim Advocates, a national legal advocacy organization representing the plaintiffs, WHYY reported.
“We’re pleased to be able to reach a settlement and put policies in place to make sure that doesn’t happen again, and I think children involved in this can be proud of themselves for standing up and creating a better Wilmington — not just for themselves but their friends also.”
According to media, the Muslim school named Darul Amaanah Academy and the city of Wilmington announced the settlement on Tuesday.
Wilmington doesn’t admit wrongdoing, but will train staff and issue revised regulations to “expressly accommodate clothing worn for religious reasons or financial hardship,” the report stated.
The Muslim school asserted city staff discriminated against and harassed seven children because of their religious clothes last summer.
The then pool manager, Glenda Pinkett, said policy “prohibited cotton in the pool”. But Mayor, Mike Purzycki, later assured that “no such restriction exists”.
Despite an official apology issued by Purczycki, the Muslim school said that the staffers backed by Pinkett closed the pool before the Muslim kids could go in.
The Muslim students were wearing Islamically-proper garments, unlike the revealing swimming costumes. In fact, Islam’s code of modesty extends to all aspects of one’s life, including attire.