What kind of headgear should be allowed on schools?
No headgear should be allowed
22.8% (28)
22.8% (28)
Only religious headgear should be allowed
17.1% (21)
17.1% (21)
Only atheist headgear should be allowed
3.3% (4)
3.3% (4)
Only headgear that leaves the face visible and doesn't hinder anyone's view should be allowed
55.3% (68)
55.3% (68)
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Poll: Atheist headgear banned on school

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Mortai Gravesend:

keiskay:

Mortai Gravesend:

...

I think you should reconsider which argument is stupid since my only point was that it wasn't NECESSARY. They don't HAVE to wear it and he said they did. Tell me, how do any of the things you listed counter my argument that the headscarf is not something they HAVE to wear? It looks like you just spouted a load of gibberish that didn't actually address my point and seems to only address some invisible strawman of your own devising.

there was no strawman. you said they dont need to. i then pointed out we dont need anything we have. but many people feel like we need those things because they have become part of our, culture, infrastructure and everyday lives. many people say we need, cars, internet, large houses, money, education and other things when in reality we dont.

So there's a really stupid implied strawman. Because you seem to be arguing as if I just said that we should get rid of it because it isn't necessary. When I didn't say anything of the sort. The fact that other things are unnecessary is utterly irrelevant my point. But apparently you failed to actually understand what my point was. Or maybe you're just being deliberately dishonest because it's a religious discussion.

im not being dishonest, your whole argument was if it was necessary, if you wanna claim me, and everyone who do not agree with you as dishonest, that is fine. but if you cant refrain from considering dissenting opinions of dishonest, you are not worth my time and we are done here.

adamtm:

KingsGambit:

adamtm:
I feel offended that you would equate my religion with a disability, please stop.

WTF? Re-read what I wrote dude. I am pointing out allowances and provisions schools (and all institutions for that matter) HAVE to make BY LAW, because of anti-discrimination laws. Didn't they teach you comprehension in school? (PS. That question could be taken to be offensive, if you so choose).

FYI, anti-discrimination law covers discrimination against people based on gender, race, creed, disability, nationality, religion, sexual preference and probably more. It is the same set of laws and principles that considers ALL of these. If you're still offended, go speak to your Parliament/Congress. If the OP's school refused to install disabled access in the school, they would be discriminating against the disabled. If they refused muslim girls the right to observe their faith, they would be discriminating against muslims. That is simple fact.

I chose my faith.
I don't choose to have broken legs, have white skin or get a boner if I see a guy.

I understand the status quo, i dont agree with it.

Sure you can! At least for the first two. A hammer and a dangerous amount of bleach go a long way. <.<

keiskay:

Mortai Gravesend:

keiskay:
there was no strawman. you said they dont need to. i then pointed out we dont need anything we have. but many people feel like we need those things because they have become part of our, culture, infrastructure and everyday lives. many people say we need, cars, internet, large houses, money, education and other things when in reality we dont.

So there's a really stupid implied strawman. Because you seem to be arguing as if I just said that we should get rid of it because it isn't necessary. When I didn't say anything of the sort. The fact that other things are unnecessary is utterly irrelevant my point. But apparently you failed to actually understand what my point was. Or maybe you're just being deliberately dishonest because it's a religious discussion.

im not being dishonest, your whole argument was if it was necessary, if you wanna claim me, and everyone who do not agree with you as dishonest, that is fine. but if you cant refrain from considering dissenting opinions of dishonest, you are not worth my time and we are done here.

Yes, my argument was whether it was necessary or not. Listing a whole bunch of other shit as unnecessary has nothing to do with that argument so calling it stupid based on that is simply dishonest.

Not worth your time? I'm sure I'm worth a lot more since your time seems to be spent making irrelevant arguments and not realizing it.

Seriously dude when a conversation goes like this:
Person 1: They should be allowed to do it because it's necessary for them!
Me: It's not actually necessary because X
You: But a lot of other things aren't necessary!

Then it's kind of laughable to see you talk about me wasting your time.

If it could be shown that many Muslims did not, in fact, feel that they 'have' to wear head coverings, and that life would go on, with little difference, if they did not in most cases, would this then invalidate the exemption at issue?

I don't think it would.

But by the sound of it, for those arguing for the priority of religious reasons to want to wear something on one's head over non-religious reasons, it would. After all, this is deemed a 'need'. And only by virtue of it being a 'need' does it override the ordinary school rules. Is it a need in every case? Even in most? In any at all, if we're being truthful?

It seems to me that it is at most a strongly felt preference, and there isn't really any clear way of accounting for the strength of preferences except by reference to the degree of protest one might raise-- and that is riddled with questions of the social acceptability of protest. We can only assume that some preferences are more strongly felt than others, and that by reference to their justification. To say that religious preferences automatically qualify as more strongly felt is to say that religious people in general just feel more strongly about things. While there is a case to be made for this, one must suppose, it is still a rather awful assumption, and not to any great degree generalizable.

The impression one gets from reading this thread is that advocates of religious exemptions feel that adhering to a religion makes people feel more strongly about what these advocates will say-- at least for non-religious people-- are petty and insignificant things, like what you wear on your head. It is somehow unfathomable that an (otherwise?) ordinary non-religious human being could have a reason for covering his head that rises to the level of a religious person's.

That is actually insane. The 'Islamic' justification for wearing hijab is to a large degree secular in nature. It's about modesty and an idea of emphasizing inner rather than outer beauty! Are we really going to say that a non-religious person can't feel the same way to as great or as important a degree, or express it in a similar way? That is completely fucked up.

Danyal:
So the highschool I attended in the past has always banned headgear. But now Muslim girls are attending the school, and they want to wear their headscarves. So the school has decided to allow headgear - but only if you have religious reasons.

I think this is unjustified discrimination. Why aren't atheists allowed to wear headgear, but are you allowed to put on your head whatever your like if God said it?

An atheist cannot wear this...
image

But if the Flying Spaghetti Monster commands me to dress like a pirate, I'm allowed to wear this:
image

It seems way more logical and way less discriminatory, to allow....
-headgear that leaves the face properly visible and doesn't hinder the view of students behind you
...or...
-no headgear

What do you think?

Also relevant:
http://www.geekologie.com/2011/07/pastafarian-granted-right-to-wear-religi.php

Equality before the law is probably forever inattainable. It is a noble ideal, but it can never be realized, for what men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
-H.L. Mencken

Moral philosophers have defined discrimination as disadvantageous treatment or consideration. This is a comparative definition. An individual need not be actually harmed in order to be discriminated against. He or she just needs to be treated worse than others for some arbitrary reason. If someone decides to donate to help orphan children, but decides to donate less, say, to black children out of a racist attitude, he or she will be acting in a discriminatory way even if he or she actually benefits the people he discriminates against by donating some money to them.[3]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination

Look at this logically. Banning your head-gear pisses you off, but it's only an annoyance at best. Banning religious head-gear means that many of these students would be unable to attend the school, no exceptions. Their religious parents aren't going to make an exception because you were pissy about your beanie. You are denying them a chance at education and any possibility of learning to distance themselves from the more extreme elements of their religion because you felt unfairly treated on the issue of hats. To me, that would seem both counter-productive to the advancement of society, and phenomenally selfish on your part.

TheMaddestHatter:
Look at this logically. Banning your head-gear pisses you off, but it's only an annoyance at best. Banning religious head-gear means that many of these students would be unable to attend the school, no exceptions. Their religious parents aren't going to make an exception because you were pissy about your beanie. You are denying them a chance at education and any possibility of learning to distance themselves from the more extreme elements of their religion because you felt unfairly treated on the issue of hats. To me, that would seem both counter-productive to the advancement of society, and phenomenally selfish on your part.

Read this please.

Seanchaidh:
It seems to me that it is at most a strongly felt preference, and there isn't really any clear way of accounting for the strength of preferences except by reference to the degree of protest one might raise-- and that is riddled with questions of the social acceptability of protest. We can only assume that some preferences are more strongly felt than others, and that by reference to their justification. To say that religious preferences automatically qualify as more strongly felt is to say that religious people in general just feel more strongly about things. While there is a case to be made for this, one must suppose, it is still a rather awful assumption, and not to any great degree generalizable.

The impression one gets from reading this thread is that advocates of religious exemptions feel that adhering to a religion makes people feel more strongly about what these advocates will say-- at least for non-religious people-- are petty and insignificant things, like what you wear on your head. It is somehow unfathomable that an (otherwise?) ordinary non-religious human being could have a reason for covering his head that rises to the level of a religious person's.

That is actually insane. The 'Islamic' justification for wearing hijab is to a large degree secular in nature. It's about modesty and an idea of emphasizing inner rather than outer beauty! Are we really going to say that a non-religious person can't feel the same way to as great or as important a degree, or express it in a similar way? That is completely fucked up.

'TheMaddestHatter', not being able to wear religious headgear isn't by definition something that causes you to be unable to attend school, nor is all non-religious headgear a beanie.

A Muslim who thinks Allah doesn't want her to show her hair is allowed to wear headgear. A follower of the god-king Xerxes is allowed to wear a Persian helmet. But an Arab who thinks it's immodest to show her hair isn't allowed to wear headgear. WTF?!

adamtm:

This is again just my opinion but I see it as promoting rational equality and preventing favoritism of beliefs.

I don't restrict my position to religion either, it wouldn't matter to me if this was about political or cultural beliefs.

We should make very clear to people that in a modern multicultural society there is no such thing as "a more valid belief" (if you allow belief into the discussion in the first place).

It solidifies the position that all people are equal and all their beliefs are equal as well. Religious beliefs should not be treated better or worse than other types of beliefs.
I understand that they are "serious business" for the people that believe in them, but so are other beliefs for other people. For me class equality is "serious business" for a Raelian aliens from space are "serious business".
If your argument for instigating a policy/rule is belief, dont treat one belief as more important.

Now in this example I even have to ask, what kind of "religious exceptions" are those?
Is it just for the established, large and legally acknowledged religions and their manifestations? If yes, you are favoritising not even just a belief but an organization.

If no, how do you enforce this with general "spirituality" or other religions that are not as well known?
Can a Pagan wear a flower-circlet? Is that a religious reason if they state it is?
Do they need to pass a test, a psych evaluation for it to be "genuine belief"?

If they need to pass "tests for religiousness" it gets even more ridiculous.

The fact is that your personal beliefs are just that, personal. If your personal beliefs interfere with established rules/policies you either swallow it and adhere to policy, or leave (or change it to be equal for -everyone-).

Otherwise you are enabling the idea that -their- belief is really more valuable and more valid to society than all the other ones out there.

It doesn't really matter if it causes harm (which i dont believe it would, long term), its about the integrity of our society to its supposed ideals.
It doesn't matter that its impractical or that "nobody will give a shit because theres only 1% pagan/etc. population", those aren't arguments, they are deflections.

Call me an idealist but this is my position and i'm not budging from it.

Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy for a few days!

- - - -

I think that the purpose of a modern multicultural society is to allow people to express themselves freely where possible. And that is, occasionally, going to require some degree of compromise, for religious or other reasons.

Obviously that's going to be easier with the mainstream religions because they have codified practices, but I think that you can also make allowances for other beliefs as well.
Your kid is a pagan? Hold a meeting with the head of RS and the head of year to discuss what kind of religious symbolism is acceptable to both the school's uniform policy and the beliefs of the child. More often than not, people are reasonable.

Or alternatively, having consulted with relevant religious authorities, you set out formal rules defining what people of each major faith can wear (consult with COE about crosses, with UK Islam authorities about headscarves, and so on).
Then for the minor faiths have a 'catch all' policy - for example, you can wear an amulet for your chosen faith under a shirt, but not outside it.

Or, you use some means that I haven't thought of. There are far greater minds than mine in the civil service!

I actually agree that the issue of headscarves is the most difficult one because it's something that many Muslims are somewhat intractable about (and there are gender inequality issues) - but I still think that it's better to give someone the benefit of the doubt so to speak, rather than entrench segregation over what is a rather minor issue to the non-religious. In the long term that's going to do far more to make our society equal and tolerant than a policy of rigid adherence to social compliance.

An interesting parallel might be various positive discrimination policies. They're often derided by conservatives as being unfair on men, or white people, or English speakers or whatever. In some cases they indeed do more harm than good, but that doesn't mean that every instance of positive discrimination is morally wrong. That's because they aren't meant to be permanent social fixtures, they're only meant to work until an injustice has been negated.

How does that compare to Islam? Education is the one thing that could, in the long term, lead to Muslim women gaining full equality across the board. It's far better to bite the bullet now, and positively discriminate by allowing Muslim women the 'privilege' of wearing a headscarf in the hope that it'll lead to improvements for everyone further down the line.

Danyal:

Batou667:
In most schools with uniform, girls are allowed to wear trousers or skirts. Boys are restricted to trousers.

Is this discrimination, too? And if so, why aren't you railing against this?

I disagree with the whole concept of school-uniforms, but they barely exist in the Netherlands.

That's dodging the question. What about society, then, is it horribly sexist that there are no skirts in the Men's section of most clothes shops?

Danyal:
Accommodate anyone with a proper reason or accommodate nobody: don't accommodate religious people only.

Ok, splendid. Sounds great. But what extenuating reasons would a non-religious person have for being allowed to break the "no hats" rule? Aside from being a cancer patient, which we've already established is generally grounds for being allowed to wear a headscarf or bandana, I can't think of a single other circumstance.

Shock and Awe:
Sorry dude but thats sounds pretty...whiny. How does it hurt you for Muslims to wear head scarves and Jews to wear skull caps? You have no big reason to wear anything like that and they do.

well no at the core of it is, these people want to wear this hat religious vs personal reasons should be irrlevent. And as far as school policy goes hats are usually banned for a reason, that reason being their grooming you for employment where you will be told off for wearing a silly hat.

Oddly enough i would give things like the burqa(sp?) more leeway if things like skulls caps were widely worn (their not here in Britain at least, i don't know about elsewhere)

*edit* to clarify whilst i do believe that headwear probably should be equal, ultimately this thread is more of a case of the OP over-reacting, although it does show some inequality towards secular groups (not as much as america's pledge of allegiance but still).

Batou667:
That's dodging the question. What about society, then, is it horribly sexist that there are no skirts in the Men's section of most clothes shops?

1. I don't think the genders are 100% fully completely the same
2. Non-religious people are forbidden from wearing headgear at that school. If males are forbidden from wearing skirts, yeah, I would be angry and I would complain. I regularly visit Celtic festivals and I see dozens of males wearing kilts.

Batou667:
Ok, splendid. Sounds great. But what extenuating reasons would a non-religious person have for being allowed to break the "no hats" rule?

There are only three Quranic quotes that tell women to dress modestly. They are not clear and they are not followed by "if you don't, Allah will make you suffer in hell forever". They tell you that 'it is more apt for the cleanness of your heart' and that 'you will be recognized (as a free person from some social standing) and not molested' and to prevent triggering the sex drive of males. These are the religious (instead of cultural) reasons a Muslim girl can claim for wanting to wear a headscarf. Why couldn't a non-religious person think that is is more apt for the cleanness of their hearts, or just want to dress modestly?

(The relevant Quranic quotes are 33.53, 33.59 and 24.31. I wrote an essay about this.)

Danyal:

1. I don't think the genders are 100% fully completely the same
2. Non-religious people are forbidden from wearing headgear at that school. If males are forbidden from wearing skirts, yeah, I would be angry and I would complain. I regularly visit Celtic festivals and I see dozens of males wearing kilts.

1. I don't think cultures are 100% the same.
2. Appeals to obscure and outdated national dress notwithstanding... the social pressure on us Western males to wear trousers and the socio-religious pressure on some Muslim girls to wear headscarves is comparable.

There are only three Quranic quotes that tell women to dress modestly. They are not clear and they are not followed by "if you don't, Allah will make you suffer in hell forever". They tell you that 'it is more apt for the cleanness of your heart' and that 'you will be recognized (as a free person from some social standing) and not molested' and to prevent triggering the sex drive of males. These are the religious (instead of cultural) reasons a Muslim girl can claim for wanting to wear a headscarf. Why couldn't a non-religious person think that is is more apt for the cleanness of their hearts, or just want to dress modestly?

(The relevant Quranic quotes are 33.53, 33.59 and 24.31. I wrote an essay about this.)

...and the (mis?)interpretation of a handful of Biblical passages informed Western culture and indeed law to the extent that 150 years ago you could be imprisoned for being gay, 20 years ago you could be prosecuted for opening your shop on a Sunday, and at present day homosexuals still can't get married. And this is in "secular" Europe. None of us are perfect, and change comes about one step at a time - usually in the form of cross-cultural understanding and a broadening of perspectives, not by snatching the religious/cultural headwear from children's heads in the name of "equality".

I'm still waiting for that revelatory and enlightning list of reasons why a non-religious kid should deserve to wear a hat in school, by the way. And no, I don't buy the disingenuous reasoning that an atheist kid might spontaneously develop arbitrary rules about their appearance that are on the same level as a religious conviction.

Batou667:
1. I don't think cultures are 100% the same.

There are no cultures in your classroom. Only humans. Don't you think humans should be treated relatively the same? People always react very offended when you suggest that we take a few rights from certain minorities.

Batou667:
2. Appeals to obscure and outdated national dress notwithstanding...

Lol, as if headscarves are less obscure and outdated.

Batou667:
the social pressure on us Western males to wear trousers and the socio-religious pressure on some Muslim girls to wear headscarves is comparable.

And how might that be relevant? Do I have to explain for the 2000th time that I don't want to outlaw religious headgear? I want to tolerate both. If it's too hard for you to tolerate non-religious headgear, it's certainly too hard for me to tolerate religious headgear.

Batou667:

There are only three Quranic quotes that tell women to dress modestly. They are not clear and they are not followed by "if you don't, Allah will make you suffer in hell forever". They tell you that 'it is more apt for the cleanness of your heart' and that 'you will be recognized (as a free person from some social standing) and not molested' and to prevent triggering the sex drive of males. These are the religious (instead of cultural) reasons a Muslim girl can claim for wanting to wear a headscarf. Why couldn't a non-religious person think that is is more apt for the cleanness of their hearts, or just want to dress modestly?

(The relevant Quranic quotes are 33.53, 33.59 and 24.31. I wrote an essay about this.)

...and the (mis?)interpretation of a handful of Biblical passages informed Western culture and indeed law to the extent that 150 years ago you could be imprisoned for being gay,

That's indeed a misinterpretation. Leviticus 20:13, gays should be put to death. According to the Bible, that is.

Batou667:
20 years ago you could be prosecuted for opening your shop on a Sunday,

It's still mostly illegal to open your shop on Sunday in the Netherlands.

Batou667:
and at present day homosexuals still can't get married.

Hurray for the Netherlands. Human rights for homosexuals, finally, now non-religious people are in the majority.

Batou667:
And this is in "secular" Europe. None of us are perfect, and change comes about one step at a time - usually in the form of cross-cultural understanding and a broadening of perspectives, not by snatching the religious/cultural headwear from children's heads in the name of "equality".

Do I have to explain for the 2000th time that I don't want to outlaw religious headgear? I want to tolerate both.

Batou667:
I'm still waiting for that revelatory and enlightning list of reasons why a non-religious kid should deserve to wear a hat in school,

So first you harp on about 'cross-cultural understanding and a broadening of perspectives', than you snatch headwear from non-religious children's heads in the name of "they don't deserve it"?

Batou667:
And no, I don't buy the disingenuous reasoning that an atheist kid might spontaneously develop arbitrary rules about their appearance that are on the same level as a religious conviction.

Oh, because religiously indoctrinated arbitrary rules are on a higher level than 'spontaneously developed arbitrary rules'. On the scale of evil, I hope, not a scale of 'deserved respect'. I've got way less problems with "I'd like to wear this hat" than with "I force my daughters to wear headscarves".

I just explained to you that the Islamic motivation to wear headgear is mostly secular: more apt for the cleanness for your heart, want to be recognized and left unmolested[1] and not wanting to trigger the sex drive of males. Why can't someone be raised in a culture where hair is seen as something private, but not believe in Allah? Why can't a Muslim girl drop Islam but still see her hair as something private?

[1] that's literally what the Quran says

irmasterlol:
Quit being so sensitive. If there was such a thing as 'atheist head gear' then you might be able to make an argument, but no one is discriminating against you by allowing these girls the basic right of practicing the tenants of their religion.

If they have the right, due to their religious sensibilities, to wear a headscarf, then do I not have to right, due to my sentimental nature, to wear my favourite hat, or motorcycle helmet?

The question isn't sensitivity, and, as the OP mentioned, others being treated preferentially is discrimination. Read it, maybe? And does this mean, if I invent a religion which requires I wear a spiked arming cap-style helmet, my right is protected to wear it wherever I go?

OP: I'm not sure. The idea of "Atheist-only" headgear is fundamentally absurd, but I think you mean secular headgear, that with no religious association? I'd say that that denies people their freedom of expression.

I guess the real question is, is it ok to wear face covering hats indoors? I'd say, yes.

It's either ok for everyone to wear something, or no-one, otherwise it's simply discrimination.

Danyal:

There are no cultures in your classroom. Only humans. Don't you think humans should be treated relatively the same? People always react very offended when you suggest that we take a few rights from certain minorities.

Heh, you'd be a riot if you ever took a teacher training course. I'm afraid contemporary pedagogical consensus is against you on this one.

Do I think humans should be treated the same? I think that we should treat everybody decently and with respect, but the way we do this might change quite drastically on a case-by-case basis. I've worked with children and in schools, and I expect this is familiar with any other teachers on this forum: you have rules, but these are then made flexible by realism. Examples:

Kid A has a weak bladder which has caused them to have embarrasing accidents in the past. So, although the "class rule" might be "no toilet breaks in the middle of lessons", if Kid A started hopping around on one foot you'd give them a discreet wink and let them go to the toilet.

Kid B has a very ethnic first name that they're embarassed about, and they prefer you use an alias when you call the register. So, although your general principle might be not to use nicknames in class, for this kid you'd make an exception.

Kid C has Muslim parents so you make certain clothing concessions for them; although the normal rule is "no hats" they're allowed to wear a neutral-coloured headscarf (and they're allowed to wear a t-shirt in swim classes, and nobody really expects them to turn up around Eid, and if they're fasting for Ramadan they shoudl probably be exempt from PE, and so on).

See how it works?

It's not perfect, but sometimes the lofty principles of True Egalitarianism have to be tempered by compassion and common sense. One size really doesn't fit all. But even so, that doesn't mean we'd benefit from throwing away the rulebook. If every rule has an exception, why bother with the rules at all? It's carnival time, motherfuckers! Spring break! Woot woot! The diabetic kid is allowed to eat chocolate in class, so so are you! Little Bobby had yesterday off to attend his grandmother's funeral, so everybody else gets today off! The kid in crutches doesn't have to do PE, so nobody else does either! What a wonderfully democratic school we have! We're all equally petty, equally over-entitled, and equally thick as shit because this isn't an environment that anybody can learn in! Brb, school being shut down by government inspectors, lol.

Lol, as if headscarves are less obscure and outdated.

Except they're being routinely worn in modern day, in many countries around the world. Which makes them automatically a hell of a lot more relevant than kilts or sporrans or codpieces.

And how might that be relevant? Do I have to explain for the 2000th time that I don't want to outlaw religious headgear? I want to tolerate both. If it's too hard for you to tolerate non-religious headgear, it's certainly too hard for me to tolerate religious headgear.

You keep making this crazy false equivalency between hijabs and baseball caps. One, the pupil may consider so important that she would rather skip school than turn up bare-headed. The other is a fashion accessory and completely inconsequential.[1]

This honestly isn't an issue of Islamic cultural colonialism, or double-standards, or secular principles being trampled under the jackboot of political correctness, or whatever red herring you'd like to bring up. It's an issue of making a very, very minor concession to a fairly trivial dress code to enable some minority students access to education. How is that something you could possibly oppose with a straight face?

Ah, but then there's the tedious issue of "different people are getting treated differently which isn't fair".

So first you harp on about 'cross-cultural understanding and a broadening of perspectives', than you snatch headwear from non-religious children's heads in the name of "they don't deserve it"?

"No hats in class" is a good rule. Unless there are good grounds to make an exception, I think it should stay.

I've made the case for allowing some degree of religious expression. Now, about that long list of really great reasons that children should be allowed to wear baseball caps? I'm still waiting.

Oh, because religiously indoctrinated arbitrary rules are on a higher level than 'spontaneously developed arbitrary rules'.

Short answer? YES.

Long answer: yes, because as I keep saying, schools have a duty to reasonably accommodate pupils of all races, religions, cultures, languages and physical ability, to the extent that it's practical and doesn't adversely affect the learning of the majority. School rules, codes of conduct, class contracts and all that jazz, are useful "best fit" approximations and an ideal to be aspired to. In practice, schools must balance their duty to instil "correct" attitudes with the need to reflect and accommodate the everyday life that their children come from and the worldviews and norms that they bring. It's a phenomenally tricky balancing act. Schools have to foster a sense of unity while celebrating diversity. They need to foster alliegance to the local community and the country as a whole while also valuing the languages and cultures of immigrants. They encourage a plurality of belief while also teaching that there are some fundamental scientific and moral truths. My point is; there are bigger issues out there. In some schools, a teacher considers it a good day if no kid gets scissors inserted into their eye socket. And you're suggesting we start throwing spanners into the already temperamental machinery of school life by making an issue out of a fucking piece of fabric that a minority of girls may or may not choose to put on their heads?

And yes, this is something I've written essays about.

You're arguing from a position of idealism, I get that. But I contend that you're lacking perspective on this issue to such a degree that your argument is all but meaningless.

[1] inb4 some chucklefuck hilariously agrees that yes, baseball caps are vital, and headscarves are a silly fashion statement

Batou667:
Heh, you'd be a riot if you ever took a teacher training course. I'm afraid contemporary pedagogical consensus is against you on this one.

Lol, I'm gonna take a 'teacher training course' in a few months.

Batou667:
Do I think humans should be treated the same? I think that we should treat everybody decently and with respect, but the way we do this might change quite drastically on a case-by-case basis.

I understand this, and I completely understand tolerating headscarves on a case-by-case basis. I'm complaining about the fact that all religious headgear is tolerated, while non-religious headgear is outlawed. 'Religion' could be one of multiple valid reasons to get an exception to the no-headscarves-rule. Now, all and only religions motivations are accepted. That's what bothers me.

Batou667:
I've worked with children and in schools, and I expect this is familiar with any other teachers on this forum: you have rules, but these are then made flexible by realism.

I understand that. No battle plan survives contact with the enemy. But it's still our duty to design proper rules, and I think I can refine the current rules.

Batou667:
Kid A has a weak bladder which has caused them to have embarrasing accidents in the past. So, although the "class rule" might be "no toilet breaks in the middle of lessons", if Kid A started hopping around on one foot you'd give them a discreet wink and let them go to the toilet.

This doesn't mean that the rule is now...
"All children with a certain disability can now go to the toilet without asking."
That would be just as insane as allowing all religious people to allow headgear because Muslims girls like to wear a headscarf.

Batou667:
Kid B has a very ethnic first name that they're embarassed about, and they prefer you use an alias when you call the register. So, although your general principle might be not to use nicknames in class, for this kid you'd make an exception.

And still the rule shouldn't be "Foreigners are allowed to use nicknames".

Batou667:
Kid C has Muslim parents so you make certain clothing concessions for them; although the normal rule is "no hats" they're allowed to wear a neutral-coloured headscarf (and they're allowed to wear a t-shirt in swim classes, and nobody really expects them to turn up around Eid, and if they're fasting for Ramadan they shoudl probably be exempt from PE, and so on).

See how it works?

Do you see how it works? You can have concessions to a general rule, but one concession to the general rule does not mean that all people who somewhat resemble the group that got the concession get exempted now.
'Bladderkid' didn't get the rule changed for all 'disabled' people, 'Ethicnamekid' didn't get the rule changed for all foreigners. 'Muslimgirl' shouldn't get the rule changed for all religious people.

Batou667:
Except they're being routinely worn in modern day, in many countries around the world.

Just like kilts, and if girls are allowed to wear skirts I should be allowed to wear kilts.

Batou667:
You keep making this crazy false equivalency between hijabs and baseball caps. One, the pupil may consider so important that she would rather skip school than turn up bare-headed. The other is a fashion accessory and completely inconsequential.[1]

You keep making this crazy false equivalency between hijabs and religious headgear and between baseballs caps and non-religious headgear. Not being allowed to wear your religious headgear doesn't mean that you'll certainly skip school, nor is all non-religious headgear a 'completely inconsequential fashion accessory'.

Batou667:
It's an issue of making a very, very minor concession to a fairly trivial dress code to enable some minority students access to education. How is that something you could possibly oppose with a straight face?

-It's not a very, very minor concession: the rule now allows all people to wear any headgear they like, as long as they think 'religion' agrees with them.
-Religious people are a minority in the Netherlands, but they aren't in most places, and we wouldn't label them 'minority students' most of the time.
-Again, and again, and again, and again, and again, I don't oppose them wearing their headgear, I oppose the changed rules.

Batou667:
"No hats in class" is a good rule. Unless there are good grounds to make an exception, I think it should stay.

And I could agree with that.
"No hats in class" - with minor concessions to anyone with a proper reason, be it illness, religion, culture, 'gingerness' or a deep personal conviction.
But I don't agree with systemic discrimination between religious and non-religious people.

Batou667:
I've made the case for allowing some degree of religious expression. Now, about that long list of really great reasons that children should be allowed to wear baseball caps? I'm still waiting.

"I want to hide my red hair, because otherwise people will bully me because of it. I will skip school if I'm not allowed to wear something to cover my hair."
"I'm bald because of a medical treatment."
"If nobody wears a hat everyone will ask my balding friend about his hat, and he doesn't want to explain everybody about his medical treatment"
"I was raised in an Arabic-Islamic family where hair is seen as a very private thing and I'd rather not show it, but I'm not Islamic myself"

Batou667:
My point is; there are bigger issues out there. In some schools, a teacher considers it a good day if no kid gets scissors inserted into their eye socket. And you're suggesting we start throwing spanners into the already temperamental machinery of school life by making an issue out of a fucking piece of fabric that a minority of girls may or may not choose to put on their heads?

I'm the one who has no problems with removing the whole headgear-law. If everyone had said "Why are we making an issue out of a fucking piece of fabric?! Just allow it all." we wouldn't be on page 10 right now.

Batou667:
You're arguing from a position of idealism, I get that. But I contend that you're lacking perspective on this issue to such a degree that your argument is all but meaningless.

I think you're lacking perspective on my position. I have no problems with reasonable accommodation, but I'd like to refine the rules. And according to the poll, more than half of the people here agree with me.
image

[1] inb4 some chucklefuck hilariously agrees that yes, baseball caps are vital, and headscarves are a silly fashion statement

OneCatch :

adamtm:

This is again just my opinion but I see it as promoting rational equality and preventing favoritism of beliefs.

I don't restrict my position to religion either, it wouldn't matter to me if this was about political or cultural beliefs.

We should make very clear to people that in a modern multicultural society there is no such thing as "a more valid belief" (if you allow belief into the discussion in the first place).

It solidifies the position that all people are equal and all their beliefs are equal as well. Religious beliefs should not be treated better or worse than other types of beliefs.
I understand that they are "serious business" for the people that believe in them, but so are other beliefs for other people. For me class equality is "serious business" for a Raelian aliens from space are "serious business".
If your argument for instigating a policy/rule is belief, dont treat one belief as more important.

Now in this example I even have to ask, what kind of "religious exceptions" are those?
Is it just for the established, large and legally acknowledged religions and their manifestations? If yes, you are favoritising not even just a belief but an organization.

If no, how do you enforce this with general "spirituality" or other religions that are not as well known?
Can a Pagan wear a flower-circlet? Is that a religious reason if they state it is?
Do they need to pass a test, a psych evaluation for it to be "genuine belief"?

If they need to pass "tests for religiousness" it gets even more ridiculous.

The fact is that your personal beliefs are just that, personal. If your personal beliefs interfere with established rules/policies you either swallow it and adhere to policy, or leave (or change it to be equal for -everyone-).

Otherwise you are enabling the idea that -their- belief is really more valuable and more valid to society than all the other ones out there.

It doesn't really matter if it causes harm (which i dont believe it would, long term), its about the integrity of our society to its supposed ideals.
It doesn't matter that its impractical or that "nobody will give a shit because theres only 1% pagan/etc. population", those aren't arguments, they are deflections.

Call me an idealist but this is my position and i'm not budging from it.

Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy for a few days!

- - - -

I think that the purpose of a modern multicultural society is to allow people to express themselves freely where possible. And that is, occasionally, going to require some degree of compromise, for religious or other reasons.

Obviously that's going to be easier with the mainstream religions because they have codified practices, but I think that you can also make allowances for other beliefs as well.
Your kid is a pagan? Hold a meeting with the head of RS and the head of year to discuss what kind of religious symbolism is acceptable to both the school's uniform policy and the beliefs of the child. More often than not, people are reasonable.

Or alternatively, having consulted with relevant religious authorities, you set out formal rules defining what people of each major faith can wear (consult with COE about crosses, with UK Islam authorities about headscarves, and so on).
Then for the minor faiths have a 'catch all' policy - for example, you can wear an amulet for your chosen faith under a shirt, but not outside it.

Or, you use some means that I haven't thought of. There are far greater minds than mine in the civil service!

I actually agree that the issue of headscarves is the most difficult one because it's something that many Muslims are somewhat intractable about (and there are gender inequality issues) - but I still think that it's better to give someone the benefit of the doubt so to speak, rather than entrench segregation over what is a rather minor issue to the non-religious. In the long term that's going to do far more to make our society equal and tolerant than a policy of rigid adherence to social compliance.

An interesting parallel might be various positive discrimination policies. They're often derided by conservatives as being unfair on men, or white people, or English speakers or whatever. In some cases they indeed do more harm than good, but that doesn't mean that every instance of positive discrimination is morally wrong. That's because they aren't meant to be permanent social fixtures, they're only meant to work until an injustice has been negated.

How does that compare to Islam? Education is the one thing that could, in the long term, lead to Muslim women gaining full equality across the board. It's far better to bite the bullet now, and positively discriminate by allowing Muslim women the 'privilege' of wearing a headscarf in the hope that it'll lead to improvements for everyone further down the line.

The "privilege to wearing a headscarf" will not lead to improvement down the line because it solidifies the segregation and inequality in the first place.
Ignoring this philosophical discussion we are having, the kid that will wear the turban/whatever in that school will be recognized as "special" with "special needs" by other kids.
Its actually counter-productive towards integration, it makes them a visibly distinct from everyone else, ostracizing them even more.

Also its not "positive discrimination" because so called "positive discrimination" usually tries to -equalize- an existing societal injustice.
Furthermore most of those policies are towards -physical- inabilities or inequalities.

You cant equivocate giving someone the privilege to wear headgear to building a ramp for disabled people (as has been tried over and over again in this thread), because being a Sikh isn't a disability.
As I've said before, I don't choose my race, I don't choose my sexuality and I don't choose my gender. But I do choose my religion and the level of adherence.
If I decide to adhere to my religions literally as a Christian it shouldnt give me extra concessions for that adherence as its my personal decision to be this strict about it.

I think that the purpose of a modern multicultural society is to allow people to express themselves freely where possible. And that is, occasionally, going to require some degree of compromise, for religious or other reasons.

But thats exactly whats not happening.
The other, non-religious, students would maybe want to express themselves equally, and we shouldn't treat their self-expression as any less valid, be it for fashion reasons or religious.
If you are working from the position of equal freedom of expression this policy can't stand.

"Other reasons" are exactly not being taken into consideration here, because there isn't an allowance on wearing a beanie with a sickle and hammer if a kid wants to identify with communism for example (no matter how stupid that sounds).
This policy exception is arbitrarily restricted to religion as the reason.

And before anyone raises the point that its a majority rule, yes it is, however thats why we have laws and regulations to protect minorities from the majority.

Democracy doesn't mean ochlocracy.

Thats why I said I understand the status quo, but I strongly disagree with it.

Danyal:
But I don't agree with systemic discrimination between religious and non-religious people.

By and large I think I've made my point and that there's no need to repeat myself. But I think this is the crucial point where our viewpoints differ.

I don't think non-religious pupils were being harmed by the no-hats rule then, and I don't think non-religious pupils are being harmed by the no-hats rule now. From their point of view, nothing has changed which would merit them being allowed hats.

So there's a new girl in class, and she's wearing a headscarf. Does that diminish my rights in any way? No. She has something I don't have, but that's really not some fantastic privilege that's being tantalisingly withheld from me. As an able-bodied atheist male I have no need or desire for a hijab, turban, wheelchair, skirt, crutches, extra English tuition, or insulin.

Yes, these are all Things Other People Get And I Don't.

And it harms neither me nor the foundations of democracy an iota.

Batou667:
By and large I think I've made my point and that there's no need to repeat myself. But I think this is the crucial point where our viewpoints differ.

So you're not going to respond to the rest of my answer?

Batou667:
I don't think non-religious pupils were being harmed by the no-hats rule then, and I don't think non-religious pupils are being harmed by the no-hats rule now. From their point of view, nothing has changed which would merit them being allowed hats.

So there's a new girl in class, and she's wearing a headscarf. Does that diminish my rights in any way? No. She has something I don't have, but that's really not some fantastic privilege that's being tantalisingly withheld from me. As an able-bodied atheist male I have no need or desire for a hijab, turban, wheelchair, skirt, crutches, extra English tuition, or insulin.

Yes, these are all Things Other People Get And I Don't.

And it harms neither me nor the foundations of democracy an iota.

And you know that the point you're trying to make is really flawed?
"White kids can now take guns with them to school."
"Black kids can't?!"
"No."
"That's racist and discriminatory!"
"Why?! Black kids weren't harmed by the no-guns rule then, they're not being harmed by it now. From their point of view, nothing has changed. White people carrying guns doesn't diminish their rights in any way."

Moral philosophers have defined discrimination as disadvantageous treatment or consideration. This is a comparative definition. An individual need not be actually harmed in order to be discriminated against. He or she just needs to be treated worse than others for some arbitrary reason. If someone decides to donate to help orphan children, but decides to donate less, say, to black children out of a racist attitude, he or she will be acting in a discriminatory way even if he or she actually benefits the people he discriminates against by donating some money to them.[3]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination

Batou667:

Danyal:
But I don't agree with systemic discrimination between religious and non-religious people.

By and large I think I've made my point and that there's no need to repeat myself. But I think this is the crucial point where our viewpoints differ.

I don't think non-religious pupils were being harmed by the no-hats rule then, and I don't think non-religious pupils are being harmed by the no-hats rule now. From their point of view, nothing has changed which would merit them being allowed hats.

So there's a new girl in class, and she's wearing a headscarf. Does that diminish my rights in any way? No. She has something I don't have, but that's really not some fantastic privilege that's being tantalisingly withheld from me. As an able-bodied atheist male I have no need or desire for a hijab, turban, wheelchair, skirt, crutches, extra English tuition, or insulin.

Yes, these are all Things Other People Get And I Don't.

And it harms neither me nor the foundations of democracy an iota.

Blanket statements, who are you to decide for other people what does -them- harm or what doesnt?

Yes, you can clearly just say it doesn't harm -you- but thats irrelevant, as you are not going to that school.
YOU don't have a desire or need for a hijab, who are you to say others don't have that desire or need, even if they are non-religious, or non-muslim.

You are in no position to speculate how "harmful" for them it is to be not allowed to wear a hijab, religious or not, unless they say it.

And its not even relevant here, because there are multitudes of policies that are considered to "do no harm" by the general consensus of policy-making bearded men that are discriminatory.

I can have the same argument towards gay marriage for example, where it doesn't harm me if i don't have it, because I don't think its necessary for me to get married and I consider marriage an outdated social institution, but somehow I have enough empathy to recognize that SOMEONE might be harmed by this and that it isn't equal for everyone.

Also, as someone here on the forum once said:

"As a heterosexual man, I have no desire to marry another man, but I sure as hell wish I had the -option- to do so if I wanted to."

Captcha: same same

I find the title of this thread to be very misleading.
I thought it was going to be about someone getting kicked out of school for wearing a hat that says "God doesn't exist" or something similar while in fact, the thread is about the spoiled child mentality of the vocal internet atheist population.

Danyal:
So you're not going to respond to the rest of my answer?

It'd mostly just be me repeating things I've already said, but which for some reason you don't seem to be acknowledging. Like, the fact that clothing rules already are relaxed for a whole host of non-religious reasons, like a kid with cancer wearing a headscarf.

And you know that the point you're trying to make is really flawed?
"White kids can now take guns with them to school."
"Black kids can't?!"
"No."
"That's racist and discriminatory!"
"Why?! Black kids weren't harmed by the no-guns rule then, they're not being harmed by it now. From their point of view, nothing has changed. White people carrying guns doesn't diminish their rights in any way."

Did you just compare headscarves with guns?

Anyway, I'm afraid you still haven't convinced me. From a realistic viewpoint, considering atheist kids who might concievably have a fantastic reason for wearing a sombrero to class, and how best to enshrine this in law, is pretty far down on the list of things to worry about. And even from a completely idealistic viewpoint I can't see that this is anything other than a completely trivial non-issue. As you point out, privelege and disadvantage are relative. But exactly by how much, in the big scheme of things, does a Muslim girl wearing a headscarf disadvantage the rest of us? Not by enough for this pro-secular Islamosceptic atheist to give a single fuck, that's for sure.

adamtm:
crazy ranting

Did you just compare non-Muslim males not being allowed to wear hijabs, with homosexual emancipation?

I don't want to live on this planet be in this thread any more.

Danyal:

'TheMaddestHatter', not being able to wear religious headgear isn't by definition something that causes you to be unable to attend school, nor is all non-religious headgear a beanie.

A Muslim who thinks Allah doesn't want her to show her hair is allowed to wear headgear. A follower of the god-king Xerxes is allowed to wear a Persian helmet. But an Arab who thinks it's immodest to show her hair isn't allowed to wear headgear. WTF?!

Have you met religious fundamentalists? I mean actually met one? You may not perceive it as an issue that would prevent attendance, but speaking as a former fundamentalist these people are fucking crazy . That cannot be understated. There is no logic. If the choice is attending school and breaking religious custom, or not attending school, then the answer will be not attending school, 100% of the time, no ifs, ands, or buts. That's just the way it works.

Is it ridiculous that a non-religious person can't wear their head-gear? Yes. Of course it is. That's just stupid. Note, however, that allowing everybody to wear whatever head-gear they want wasn't an option in this poll. The options were only religious, only non-religious(I refuse to refer to it as atheist head-gear, because that is a ridiculous term), none at all, or non-face obscuring. That last one doesn't really count, considering that it is essentially a ban on religious headgear for Muslims. Personally, I think everyone should be allowed to wear whatever they want. I don't wear hats, but I really don't care if you do. Given the options, however, I would be forced to vote for only religious head-gear, because I would prefer for people to have a chance to over-come the logical short-comings of their heritage rather than dooming them to a cycle of repetition, as the other three options would do.

Batou667:

adamtm:
Blanket statements, who are you to decide for other people what does -them- harm or what doesnt?

Yes, you can clearly just say it doesn't harm -you- but thats irrelevant, as you are not going to that school.
YOU don't have a desire or need for a hijab, who are you to say others don't have that desire or need, even if they are non-religious, or non-muslim.

You are in no position to speculate how "harmful" for them it is to be not allowed to wear a hijab, religious or not, unless they say it.

And its not even relevant here, because there are multitudes of policies that are considered to "do no harm" by the general consensus of policy-making bearded men that are discriminatory.

I can have the same argument towards gay marriage for example, where it doesn't harm me if i don't have it, because I don't think its necessary for me to get married and I consider marriage an outdated social institution, but somehow I have enough empathy to recognize that SOMEONE might be harmed by this and that it isn't equal for everyone.

Also, as someone here on the forum once said:

"As a heterosexual man, I have no desire to marry another man, but I sure as hell wish I had the -option- to do so if I wanted to."

Captcha: same same

Did you just compare non-Muslim males not being allowed to wear hijabs, with homosexual emancipation?

I don't want to live on this planet be in this thread any more.

I fixed your quote so people can actually read what i wrote, also I said no such thing.
Trying to dishonestly quote my post in the hope nobody will read it is not going to change that.

I pity your egocentrism and lack of empathy for the needs of others.

Obviously you are the authority on how things should be and what people need and when they are being done harm.

Batou667:
And no, I don't buy the disingenuous reasoning that an atheist kid might spontaneously develop arbitrary rules about their appearance that are on the same level as a religious conviction.

How do you measure such a "level"? Seriously, how? Go on and tell us in detail how you distinguish a strongly held conviction from just an ordinary conviction unworthy of being accommodated.

Is it not the case that whether an idea is 'religious' is actually orthogonal to whether it is a strongly held conviction? Can you not name examples of very weakly held religious convictions? Can you not name examples of very strongly held non-religious convictions? And who the fuck are you to say that an atheist cannot have the latter? Or that only religious people can be supremely picky about what they wear? How is not bowing to this special treatment of religion 'disingenuous'?

adamtm:
I fixed your quote so people can actually read what i wrote, also I said no such thing.
Trying to dishonestly quote my post in the hope nobody will read it is not going to change that.

I pity your egocentrism and lack of empathy for the needs of others.

Obviously you are the authority on how things should be and what people need and when they are being done harm.

If I didn't seems to be taking your post very seriously, that's because I suspected you were either being facaetious or trolling.

For the last several pages I've been arguing for being empathetic towards schoolkids' needs - namely, the geniune obligations of the religious as opposed to the trivial "me-too" entitlement of those who are determined to believe they are missing out. If you've somehow got the opposite impression, then you need to re-read what I wrote.

Seanchaidh:
How do you measure such a "level"? Seriously, how? Go on and tell us in detail how you distinguish a strongly held conviction from just an ordinary conviction unworthy of being accommodated.

I think it boils down to the difference between a need and a desire.

A Muslim girl may very well need to wear a headscarf. When some bratty kid sees this and declares that this is preferential treatment and he wants to come to school wearing a baseball cap, he's being motivated by a desire that, up until this point, he hadn't considered important.

I've been arguing all along that schools should - and in fact do - make concessions for non-religious reasons. If there are genuine cultural or medical reasons why a schoolkid ought to be treated differently, this is usually accommodated.

Batou667:

Seanchaidh:
How do you measure such a "level"? Seriously, how? Go on and tell us in detail how you distinguish a strongly held conviction from just an ordinary conviction unworthy of being accommodated.

I think it boils down to the difference between a need and a desire.

A Muslim girl may very well need to wear a headscarf.

And she very well may not. But such a rule will be exempted either way.

I think it should be exempted either way, and I also think we should be consistent in our applications of such exemptions. It should not be necessary to have a 'need' to override such a silly rule.

I am pretty sure someone else has said this I'll say it again this is a stupid thing as far as things go. you should be able to where any kind of hat you want. I'm not saying that a hat that says "God is stupid" on it should be allowed. I'm just saying if you want to where a mini Giraffe on your head you should be allowed to do so. sorry no good gramma or spling.

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