Dutch to introduce burqa ban at schools
In a letter to parliament, Dutch Education Minister Ronald Plasterk writes that the government intends to introduce a burqa ban in education.
Not only teachers and schoolchildren, but also parents and school caretakers will be banned from wearing face-covering garments, both inside the school building and outside in the playground.
The minister writes that it is important for children to learn that proper communication requires being able to look the other person in the eye.
The ban only applies to compulsory education, and so does not include higher vocational education facilities and universities. Minister Plasterk says that adults can decide for themselves whether they want to be confronted with a teacher wearing a burqa.
Earlier, the cabinet announced it wanted to introduce a burqa ban at schools, in public transport and for government workers. However, public transport companies are free to decide whether they introduce such a ban. Most public transport companies say there is no need because women wearing burqas do not pose a security risk.
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