A Catholic schoolgirl has been branded a 'truant' by her teachers after she refused to dress as a Muslim for a school field trip to a mosque.OK, the ‘dressing like a Muslim’ description is a bit of hyperbole by the ‘Fail’; what she was required to do was cover her head and legs.
No different to what would be required if you visited a mosque or old Catholic church while on holiday. The difference comes when you don’t have a choice about the visit…
Staff had ordered 14-year-old Amy Owen and her classmates to dress in headscarf, wear trousers or leggings and keep her arms covered for the compulsory visit to the mosque after it was arranged to promote 'community cohesion.'Oh, and when you are also expected to pay for it:
Parents at the 1,100 pupil Ellesmere Port Catholic High School in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire were also told they were each required to make a £3 contribution towards the trip for all Year Nine students.OK, two things here – one, if it’s some mandatory trip, don’t stick your hand out for extra money; it should come out of school funding.
And two, when people make objections to the dress code, don’t go overboard. Not if your aim really is to ‘promote community cohesion’.
Because you’re really, really doin’ it wrong:
In a stern letter to her family with words in block capitals and underlined, the school's headmaster Peter Lee said the visit was 'as compulsory as a geography field trip.'/facepalm
Tell me, Mr Lee, how exactly do you plan to promote community cohesion by bullying and threatening and sarcastic letters the very first time you are challenged? I mean, I have to assume you’re a sane, intelligent person.
Did you not think, in this day and age, that this would escalate?
He added: 'There are two reasons for these visits. One is that the scheme of work in religious studies REQUIRES children to have knowledge and understanding of other world religions.Ahhhh. It’s all to do with obeying OFSTED rules in order to get that magic tick in the box, I see. Community cohesion isn’t the goal at all…
'The second is that the school is REQUIRED to promote tolerance respect and understanding. This is known as community cohesion. A failure to do this could result in an unwelcome inspection judgement. None of us would relish that.
'Whilst I may not require you to pay for this I must require your child to participate.'
And if Mr Lee had bothered to do some research, he wouldn’t have been out-argued by a parent on the subject of the dress code either:
"'I even did some research on the internet about non-Muslims attending mosques and it says you don't have to adhere to the dress code. 'Needless to say, the school isn’t backing down:
A spokesman for the school said: 'In keeping with accepted good practice we are pleased to provide students with an experience of a visit to a Mosque and the chance to talk and question a representative of the community which it serves.That, it seems, is pure progressive boilerplate straight from the Big Book of MultiCulti Nonsense. They aren't 'ordering' or 'requiring', they are 'providing'....
'This is an exciting and for many, a unique opportunity to learn at first hand how Islamic practices and beliefs map against their own.
'We hope to provide other experiences to further our students' appreciation and tolerance for faiths and culture as opportunities present themselves, as all good schools will do in the name of education.'
In other words: We will ‘further our students' appreciation and tolerance for faiths and culture’ if it kills them….