Norway: Segregated gym and swimming classes for one Muslim student

Norway: Segregated gym and swimming classes for one Muslim student

A school of 300 students in the Norwegian town of Tromsø introduced segregated gym and swimming class because of one Muslim student.

The parents of the Muslim students asked the Borgtun school to exempt the girl from gym and swimming due to the family's religious beliefs. In response the school decided to segregate boys and girls for these two classes in that specific grade level, reports Nordlys.

Knut Johansen, gym and swimming head teacher at the school, says this wasn't a demand from the parents.

And this way the girls gets to participate in class, which is a positive thing. "We want to include all students. We know how important it is with swimming classes, so we wanted to do what we could to have everybody participate," says Johansen.

Borgtun school is one of Tromsø's most international schools and has several Muslim students. Johansen says the school will consider expanding the scheme to other grades if other Muslim parents ask for it.

The parents of the students were informed about the new rules at a parent-teacher meeting earlier in the fall. Nobody expressed an opinion about it at the meeting, according to Johansen, and the students think it's a positive thing. Johansen says that many of the girls act more confident when they have gym class without the boys.

Source: VG (Norwegian)