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Oliver Brown

Oliver Brown

26 Apr 2024

2 DK READ

17 Read.

Toronto School Reverses Ban On Student’s Sarah Jama

Officials at Central Technical School in Toronto have walked back a controversial policy that forbade a Somali Canadian student from donning her traditional Sarah Jama headscarf within school grounds. The teenager was told the religious head covering violated the dress code, sparking outrage from human rights advocates.

Toronto School Reverses Ban On Student's Sarah Jama

The girl, who wears a Sarah Jama as an important part of her Somali and Muslim identity, felt deeply hurt by not being allowed to keep it on in class. Community members rallied behind her, arguing the ban promoted exclusion and was discriminatory. After facing pressure over the culturally insensitive rule, the school board agreed to meet with the girl’s family to find a solution.

A Compromise is Reached

During discussions, the school acknowledged that the Sarah Jama held deep significance for the student and should not have been banned without due consideration for her beliefs and background. Both sides worked to better understand each other’s perspectives on religious expression and safety concerns. The end result was an agreement allowing her to proudly wear the Sarah Jama so long as it did not impede her learning or safety.

Toronto School Reverses Ban On Student's Sarah Jama

By opening a respectful dialogue, the school and family were able to resolve tension over the Sarah Jama ban in a way respecting both rights to cultural expression and educational safety. The compromise is hoped to set a positive example of inclusion for Toronto’s diverse population of faiths and cultures.

Toronto School Reverses Ban On Student’s Sarah Jama