It's not often you hear about women being criticized for wearing skirts that are too long. But that's exactly what happened to one French teen, who was barred from attending class because her ankle-length maxi-skirt was deemed a "provocation."
The 15-year-old Muslim student was twice kept from class earlier this month because the head teacher considered her long skirt too religious by the standards of France's secularity laws.
- Complaint over hijab ruling filed against Quebec judge
- Readers react to a Muslim woman being told to take off her head scarf in Montreal court
The internet responded by deeming the decision ridiculous and the ensuing outrage spawned the hashtag #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux, translated into English as "I wear my skirt as I please."
The school is standing by its decision, arguing that the plain black skirt "conspicuously" showed religious affiliation, AFP reported.
According to the 2004 law that governs secularity in schools, veils, the Jewish kippa or large Christian crosses are all banned in educational establishments, but "discreet religious signs" are allowed.
The student, who removes her head scarf daily before entering school, was quoted by a local newspaper as saying the skirt was "nothing special, it's very simple, there's nothing conspicuous. There is no religious sign whatsoever."
Kenneth Roth, a U.S. attorney who is the executive director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted that the decision was "carrying secularism too far."
He wasn't alone. Ranging from angry to dripping with sarcasm, online reaction to the school's decision has been overwhelmingly negative.
Teachers literally telling a teen girl that she has to go home and put on a shorter skirt if she wants an education. Just think about that.— @saladinahmed
Wear a short skirt and you're "asking for it", wear a long skirt and you're a threat to secularism. Go figure. #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux— @ColdBrightDay