Earlier this month, the girl identified as Sarah, was stopped from going to class in the northeastern town of Charleville-Mezieres by the head teacher, who reportedly thought the long black skirt “conspicuously” showed religious affiliation, something that is strictly forbidden by France’s secular laws.
“The girl was not excluded, she was asked to come back with a neutral outfit and it seems her father did not want the student to come back to school,” Patrice Dutot, a local education official, told AFP on Tuesday.
The 15-year old student, however, told local daily newspaper L’Ardennais that her skirt was “nothing special, it’s very simple, there’s nothing conspicuous. There is no religious sign whatsoever.”
Sarah’s story has been trending on Twitter in France with the hashtag #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux, translated into English as “I wear my skirt as I please.”
According to the Committee against Islamophobia in France, known by its French acronym CCIF, some 130 students were banned from class last year for wearing outfits considered as too openly religious.
France has an extremely strict law forbidding displays of religion deemed ostentatious.