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On School First Day, Muslim Student Was Told Her Hijab Breached Uniform Code

An 8th-grade Muslim student faced a horrible emotional experience on her first day to school after a teacher admonished her for a uniform infraction for wearing a hijab.

“She comes home crying and in a horrible emotional state refusing to go to school tomorrow,” a family member wrote in a now viral Facebook post.

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The girl, Afnan Zeabi, is a student at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, in the Boston suburbs, Massachusetts.

The school said in an emailed statement that it allows students to wear religious attire “as an expression of their sincerely held beliefs,” but asks students to provide a letter “expressing this desire from a member of their clergy,” USA Today reported.

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On School First Day, Muslim Student Was Told Her Hijab Breached Uniform Code - About Islam

CAIR Investigating

The Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement that they had been in touch with the family and were investigating.

“The family has authorized us to let you know that the immediate situation is under control, as the student is wearing her hijab in school,” CAIR staff said.

“We will continue to investigate what happened, review the policies of the school, and research applicable state and federal laws. We will also interview witnesses and listen to our community partners,” the CAIR staff said.

Malden Mayor Gary Christenson also said in a statement that he was saddened to hear about the incident and was in touch with the school about reforming its uniform policy.

“I understand that MVRCS has been unwavering in the commitment to its uniform policy, however, as a prominent member of our Muslim community stated, wearing hijab is a protected right, it is not part of a uniform and should not be looked at as such,” Christenson said.

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not just a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

Stigma surrounding Islamic headscarf or hijab has always been the worst challenge facing Muslim students. To bring different cultures together, a Wisconsin college organized “A Day In Her Hijab” event last November to give students an opportunity to learn about hijab and Islam.