Top Auckland girls' school will make exception for students to wear hijab on Friday

Top Auckland girls' school will make exception for students to wear hijab on Friday
Photo credit: Getty & Google Maps.

A top Auckland girls' school says the hijab is not allowed under their uniform code, but will support students who want to wear one for the 'Scarves in Solidarity' event on Friday.

Diocesan School for Girls is an Anglican school based in Epsom, Auckland, which costs upwards of $19,000 per year in school fees for each student.

Diocesan school Principal Heather McRae said in a statement that "any girl or person who wants to show their respect for Muslim families affected in Christchurch by wearing a hijab to school on this day is most welcome to do so."

She said their uniform code is strict, girls aren't allowed to wear jewellery or nail polish, must tie back long hair, and must wear the school blazer outside of school grounds.

A spokesperson for the school also told Newshub the hijab was not a part of the dress code, and despite having Muslim students, parents were aware of the policies before joining the school.

"Diocesan is a choice for an outstanding education by many parents. As a private girls' school, we value and celebrate diversity and inclusion," said McRae in a statement.

"Our uniform policy is developed to help create a sense of oneness and family and is worn with pride by our students."

"All parents sign up to the Uniform policies when they join the School."

She said the school would be observing two minutes of silence on Friday.

A former student told Newshub she wasn't surprised as the school had a very strict dress code, and during her time there she was unaware of anyone wearing a hijab.

The Human Rights Commission says discrimination on the grounds of religious belief is not allowed under both the Human Rights Act and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

"This means that if your workplace or school does not let you wear items that significantly reflect your religion or cultural beliefs, it might be unlawful discrimination."

They advise anyone who thinks they may be facing this form of discrimination to call the Commission on 0800 496 877 for help.