Source: The New York Times
On October 22, 2004 The New York Times reported, "To enforce its new law banning religious symbols from public schools, the Ministry of National Education has decided to get tough. This week it held formal disciplinary hearings and began expelling students who violated the law. The goal was to get rid of those defined as hopeless cases before the 10-day All Saints school vacation that ends with a national holiday honoring all of Catholicism's saints. The French government sees no contradiction or irony here. Nine female Muslim students who have refused to remove their Islamic head coverings have been thrown out of schools across France. After the All Saints break, dozens of cases that are pending will be reviewed."