Friday, May 14, 2010
Catholic school girl who refused headscarf for mosque trip labelled a truant
Amy Owen, 14, and fellow girl pupils at a Catholic secondary school were told to cover their heads and wear trousers or leggings out of respect for their Muslim hosts.
But when her mother objected, saying she did not want her daughter to 'dress as a Muslim', she received a sternly worded warning letter from the headmaster saying she had no choice.
Peter Lee, head of Ellesmere Port Catholic High School in Cheshire, informed her that the local diocese 'requires' pupils to have an understanding of other religions.
In the letter - with words in block capitals and underlined - Mr Lee said the visit was 'as compulsory as a geography field trip'.
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.
'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.'
Amy's mother Michelle Davies refused to back down and, after being told no teachers would be back at school to keep an eye on her daughter, she kept her at home, citing religious objections - as did as many as ten other families.
Yesterday, after the school acted on its threat to class Amy's absence as truancy, Miss Davies accused it of discriminating against Christian pupils.
Read more here...
at 2:13 PM