Dutch Schools Supported in Headscarf Ban

January 25 2011

The Netherlands Equal Treatment Commission has ruled in favour of schools whose dress codes regulate wearing headscarves. The commission was responding to the case of the Gerrit Rietveld College in Utrecht, where a new dresscode permitted headscarves only when 90% of the face remains visible. The school suggested that headgear covering the chin or eyebrows prevents communication between student and teacher, which the commission found sufficient reasoning for the dresscode.

More than 50 students refused to comply with the dresscode, at which point the school took the issue to the Equal Treatment Commission. Further the Commission ruled that the dresscode only applies to students who began at the college this academic year, after the law was introduced. The Commission’s ruling is not legally binding.