Sikh Students Barred from School for Refusing to Remove Turbans

September 7, 2004


Wire Service: AP

On September 7, 2004 the Associated Press reported, "France's tiny Sikh community says it has fallen victim to a new law banning religious symbols from schools, with at least five Sikh students barred from classrooms for refusing to remove their turbans. At one Paris region high school, teachers had refused to let three Sikhs wearing turbans get past the front door. They did allow them to enter on Tuesday, four days after the start of the new school year, members of the Sikh community said. But the students weren't allowed to attend class and were made to wait in the cafeteria, Sikhs said. The contentious law--aimed at keeping Muslim head scarves out of classrooms - applies to all conspicuous religious signs and apparel, including Jewish skull caps and large Christian crosses. When the new academic year started last Thursday, it became clear that turbans also were unacceptable in public schools. Discreet symbols are permitted."