The parents of a Muslim girl have been threatened with legal action after they refused to send their daughter to school in a shorter skirt.
12-year-old Siham Hamud has been wearing a long skirt to school for years. But last month, teachers complained and said she was not wearing the proper school uniform.
Uxbridge High School says female students should wear a black pleated skirt or black trousers from official uniform suppliers, which the parents claim falls above the knee.
Siham’s father, 55-year-old Idris Hamud, said their daughter was sent home to change but he claims both uniform choices contravene their strict religious beliefs.
The school has threatened the family with legal action over Siham’s alleged absences.
“It feels like bullying because of what I believe,” Siham said. “I think they should just let me wear my school uniform to school. I like school normally, and English, drama and RE are my favourite lessons but I couldn’t attend.”
Siham continued: “I find it annoying because I’ve missed a month of school, so I have to catch up a lot. I wish I could just have gone to school as normal.
“It makes me feel left out, because I can’t see my friends either. They aren’t accepting me for my religion and that’s wrong.
“I feel confused and annoyed that I can’t wear what I want for my religion. I hope they’ll change their rules so that girls like me wear skirts to school.”
Idris also said: “She is sent home to change into a shorter skirt then return to school later that day – but she isn’t going to change her beliefs in an hour.
“The school is threatening to take legal action against me, but I’m not forcing her to wear a longer skirt – it’s her faith and her decision to make.
“She used to love school, but now she goes to school crying because of this – it’s heartbreaking.”
The letter sent by the school to the schoolgirl’s parents reads: “Siham’s absence is being recorded as unauthorised. Unauthorised absence may result in a fine being issued, or legal action being taken against the adults who have parental responsibility or day-to-day care of your child.
“Legal action can be in the form of a penalty notice or a summons to the magistrates’ court.
“I must ask that you support the school and your daughter by ensuring that she attends school in full school uniform with immediate effect.”
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