Århus: School bans burkas

The Egå Gymnasium in Århus had recently forbidden students from covering their face during school hours.  This goes for both burkas and ski masks.

Principal Eigil Dixen says he has no problems with people walking around veiled, but that teachers can't communicate with students and educate them when they can't see their facial expressions.  He had copied the new regulations from other gymnasiums in order to prevent future problems.  He stresses that the new regulations also demand from students to be properly dressed for sports and chemistry lessons.

There are few immigrants in the school and there are never been a student with a burka. 

The welfare minister Karen Jespersen thinks a burka ban, like the one at Egå Gymnasium, is a good idea.  She says it's all about seeing the student's face and that it's a good and necessary regulation, regardless of whether the school has concrete problems with burkas.  If that is the attitude, she doesn't see a problem with specifying it and thereby preventing conflicts. [ed. Jespersen is the author of 'Islamists and naivists', a book warning of the Islamist threat (see also: Denmark: Islamists and Naivists).]

Peter Kuhlman of the gymnasium schools principals' association, doesn't think that there's a need for any regulations when there's never been a concrete problem.  He says its just signals that there isn't a place for everybody and that people are criticla of other cultural concepts.  this is something they don't want to do if there isn't a problem.

Sources: DR (Danish), Jyllands-Posten (Danish)

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