JAMAICA, West Indies: Muslim family outraged that Catholic High School, St Hugh’s, will not adjust uniform style to suit their Islamic religion’s requirements.
Jamaica Observer Dauriyah Dyer was more than excited to be entering high school until she and her mother found out that St Hugh’s will not adjust the style of the tunic to suit Muslim requirements.
Latoyka Dyer, Dauriyah’s mother told the Jamaica Observer that under Islamic laws, once a female enters puberty she is required to cover her entire body except for her face and hands. Dyer said that because of this law, she has, requested that the uniforms blouse sleeves be extended to Dauriyah’s wrists and the tunic be lengthened to her ankles.
Dyer, however, said that since she had made her request known on July 3, the school’s principal, Elaine Cunningham has refused to meet with her to come to an amicable solution about the uniform adjustments. On July 26 my husband and I went to the Ministry of Education and spoke to an education officer and was told that our daughter had the right to wear her uniform according to the telling of our religion.
“On July 30, my daughter, accompanied by one of my Muslim sisters went to St Hugh’s and was told that the ministry had no right to tell her where the sleeves should go and that they would draft up a letter and contact us further, but when I attempted to give them my e-mail address so they could forward the letter to me, they refused to take it and said they would call me back but I have not heard from anyone since. I have made numerous calls to the office and left messages and none have been returned,” she said.
Dyer said that she believes the school’s actions are deliberate attempts to frustrate her as school officials keep using an example of other Muslim students who have attended St Hugh’s but did not fuss about the school’s uniform.
“I believe the principal and other administrators are intentionally ignoring me. (They ARE. You are a troublemaker) I also believe this is an attempt on their part to frustrate me so that we will give up. Their statement to us was that other Muslim students in the past went to St Hugh’s and didn’t have a problem with the uniform so they don’t see why we’re making a big deal. They want me to allow my daughter to come to school in short sleeves and I cannot do that, I will not disobey my creator to please St Hugh’s,” Dyer said. (Well, duh! Send her to a muslim school)
When the Sunday Observer contacted the school, the principal’s secretary said “Let me tell you straight, she is a troublemaker. I have been here for 13 years and four Muslim students have passed through the school and none of them have had a problem with the uniform. We can’t make adjustments for one individual, or else we will have to do it for all,” the secretary said.
“The sleeves of the uniform will not be adjusted because the school’s style is style. However, the ministry and St Hugh’s have offered to allow Dauriyah to wear her Islamic dress to school. In the meantime, Mrs Campbell and Mrs Cunningham are currently having dialogue with regard to the issue,” Broomfield said.