Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The Non-Negotiable Demands of Human Dignity

The US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division is suing an Oklahoma school district in order to defend an 11-year old girl's right to wear a hijab in school. The school's refusal to allow the girl to wear her head scarf is alleged to be a violation of the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause. Stated the assistant attorney general: "No student should be forced to choose between following her faith and enjoying the benefits of a public education...We certainly respect local school systems’ authority to set dress standards, and otherwise regulate their students, but such rules cannot come at the cost of constitutional liberties. Religious discrimination has no place in American schools." (emphasis added)

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