Group urges schools to update anti-bullying policies

November 16, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A nonprofit refugee support group in Utah is asking school districts to update their anti-bullying policies to add protections for students targeted for religious beliefs, citing the example of a young girl who had her hijab pulled off during recess.

Representatives of the Refugee Justice League say “school officials should make appropriate exemptions to dress codes and reasonably accommodate students who wear hairstyles, clothing, headwear, jewelry, cosmetics or other apparel as a personal expression of sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The suggested policy also recommends that school officials “accommodate student requests not to wear certain gym clothes and/or uniforms that students regard, on a religious basis, as immodest.”

Now-11-year-old Maram Al-Shammari was playing outside during recess in April 2017 when she says her hijab was forcibly removed by “bullies” at Mill Creek Elementary School in the Granite School District.

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