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General Aussie School Apologises

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Astroboy, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Jul 14, 2007
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    Australian school apologises for refusing Sikh pupil

    AFP - Tuesday, September 2 SYDNEY (AFP) - - An exclusive Australian school on Tuesday apologised for refusing to enrol a 12-year-old Sikh boy unless he discarded his turban and cut his hair to conform with the school's uniform regulations.
    The apology formed part of a settlement won after the boy's parents complained to Queensland state's Anti-Discrimination Commission after he was turned away from Ormiston College in the eastern city of Brisbane in 2006.
    Sikhs were outraged by the school's stance as their religion mandates that the faithful should wear turbans and not cut their hair.
    "Ormiston College has apologised for any hurt that may have resulted from the decision, and have undertaken to review their enrolment practices and uniform policy to ensure that it does not act in breach of the Anti-Descrimination Act 1991 (Queensland)," the school said in a statement.
    The lawyer for the boy's family, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said the family was happy with the confidential out-of-court settlement, which included the public apology.
    "The main thing they wanted was broader understanding within the community to the importance of being able to choose an education whilst maintaining your religious beliefs and identity," said Scott McDougall.
    "We're hopeful that other schools will take note and it won't be repeated upon the Sikh community," he told the Australian Associated Press.
    The boy was now attending another private school where he was allowed to wear his turban and was doing well, the lawyer said.
    Ormiston College's headmaster, Brett Webster, said it was pleased the case had been resolved.
    "What we have done is we've agreed to look at our policies and that's a commitment we will take seriously," he said.
    "And if there's a need to modify our enrolment or uniform policies to remain aligned with the Anti-Discrimination Act then we will do so."
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