Wearing the hijab while teaching

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Alizeh, Jun 4, 2013.

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  1. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jun 6, 2013

    Speaking from the early childhood field, my kids don't even seem to notice women wearing the head scarves, but are scared of the women wearing the full face veils, especially when they are wearing all black. We have a couple of mothers who were completely covered, and the kids were petrified, thinking they were witches or a threat of some kind. We obviously explained to them, and they became respectful but were never comfortable.
     
  2. catlover

    catlover Rookie

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    Jun 6, 2013

    Here's another vote for "if they straightforwardly ask me, I simply state it."

    I agree with a previous poster, though, that a lot of kids somehow have the misconception that teachers in public schools aren't allowed to acknowledge the fact that religion even exists.

    In the American Literature class we teach here, we cover early American writings, many of which are religious in nature. The textbook readings include a sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," and the poem "Huswifery," for example.

    During discussion of those pieces, we (obviously) delved into what the authors were saying and why. There was always some student who asked whether it was really allowable for us to be discussing religious ideas in class.

    We always replied that we weren't telling them what to believe, weren't advocating for a particular religion, and that we didn't want in any way to change their beliefs. But to understand why this particular author wrote this particular piece of literature, you had to understand that person's religious background.

    We then pointed out that we had said exactly the same thing the week previous when teaching Native American origin myths. And later on when we taught "The Crucible," we again reinforced the same idea.

    And in my experience, the students who were raising the question were not sincerely interested in the concept of separation of church and state. It seems like it was only ever raised by the kids who are perpetually trying to get away with doing the least possible amount of work and who saw the "can you really teach this?" question as a ploy for attempting to curtail the lesson and/or change the subject.
     
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 6, 2013

    I don't think that this would happen in the US. It certainly wouldn't be legal if it did.
     
  4. Alizeh

    Alizeh Rookie

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    Jun 6, 2013

    I'm actually not sure about this. I'm not sure if a school in the US would hire a teacher who covered her face.
     
  5. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Jun 7, 2013

    In Birmingham we know have bus drivers who wear the full veil! Thank heavens I drive a car!
     
  6. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 7, 2013

    I agree with everyone else that it should be perfectly acceptable for you to wear the hijab in class. However, I also agree with TG that it would be a professional courtesy to let your P and admin know you will be wearing it so (s)he can be prepared for any questions parents may raise. Since you wore the hijab to the interview, though, the P obviously knows about it and has no problem with it, so that covers teh professional courtesy, in my opinion.

    Congratulations on your new position!
     
  7. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 7, 2013

    And I wonder how many people would claim wearing a cross (especially) or Star of David violates separation of church and state.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 7, 2013

    smurfette, I think VERY few people would find it necessary to provide administration a heads-up about a cross or star. I've never in my life known a Jewish person and neither has my husband, but I don't think anyone would think the "warning" was needed even in this area where they're obviously uncommon.
     
  9. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I don't think many people would claim that.
     
  10. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Jun 7, 2013

    :agreed:
     
  11. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 7, 2013

    Suppose I wanted to wear a tie showing the Cross. You don't think many people would claim it was violating separation of church and state?
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think a very small number of people would. And since they'd be wrong, I don't think it really matters. Just like if someone complained about her wearing the hijab.

    I also don't think mosg of the people who would suggest she not wear the hijab or that she give notice of her wearing it would also make the church/state claim based on the cross.
     
  13. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 7, 2013

    I would like to think you're right, JustMe, and I truly hope you are. I fully support her right to wear the hajib and to also give an honest answer to any question(s) about her religion, faith or beliefs. I see nothing wrong with being honest about one's religious beliefs in the classroom, so long as the teacher doesn't try to proselytize or promote their beliefs as being "right" and others being "wrong".

    It's very encouraging to see such strong support for open displays of belief in school, as well as the open support for diversity of beliefs displayed. Still, the cynical side of me can't help thinking the tone of at least some posts would have been different if the OP had been asking about wearing a cross or displaying one in the classroom.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 7, 2013

    The two districts I've taught for are public but fairly religious. Christian musical concerts, guest speakers with God-laced programs, prayer over the intercom system...the list goes on and on. So I'm just basing my thoughts regarding the cross on my experiences which is that Christianity in very much embraced in our public schools.
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jun 7, 2013

    You sort of know me. When I was in retail, I was asked to refrain from wearing my Star of David or from lapsing into Yiddish when I realized I was talking with someone who understood me (I was told it was "like talking in Jewish jive".) However, now I am teaching, I simply state that any outward show of my faith, including if I take off for holy days, is an outward sign of who I am internally. No student or administrator has made too much of an issue about it.
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, I do know you...true! I meant in real life...where are you all? Apparently not in Kentucky! ;)

    And for the record, I think it was at the very least RUDE to ask you to do that.
     
  17. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Jun 7, 2013

    I'm not sure how to phrase what I'm trying to say, but here goes.

    Christians have definite religious privilege the US today. I'm not saying this is wrong, because Christianity is the majority religion and that automatically leads to some privilege. I understand that there are places that do not allow employees to wear crosses, which is wrong, but there is far more religious prejudice against minority religions today.(Islamaphobia anyone?) I think it's also noted in the fact that several people suggested that the OP give her boss a heads-up that she will be covering her head, which I find unnecessary. Furthermore, in American society, it is much, much easier to wear a cross rather than a hijab or a turban...especially since 9/11. The Boston Bombings did not help the situation. So many Arab American, South Asian Americans, and Muslims have been attacked for their faith and sometimes skin color in the United States. The amount of Sikh men who have been attacked or even killed for wearing a turban is horrible. I don't think many people are killed for wearing a cross around their neck.

    So stating that people would have more issues with a cross than a hijab seems to minimize the problem that people who practice minority religions in the US. It reminds me of a POC talking about his/her difficulties with racism, and a white person jumping in and saying "Hey, people are racist against white people too! I remember this one time when..."

    I apologize if this is out of line and I know I could be reading too much into this, but this was just my first reaction to this discussion.
     
  18. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 7, 2013

    I agree.
     
  19. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 8, 2013

    I was wondering how long it would take to turn into a discussion on the "persecution" of Christians.
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 8, 2013

    Persecution? I hardly think that's the discussion.
     
  21. Alizeh

    Alizeh Rookie

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    Jun 8, 2013

    I also don't think we were discussing the persecution of Christians (and think that monsieurteacher was somewhat joking), but I agree with this post.
     
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