Dress Codes and Religion Equity – Podcast Episode 186 | Classnotes Podcast 186

Classnotes Podcast (October 25, 2018) There may forever be a tension between what teenagers want to wear to school and what school officials deem is appropriate. School dress codes may serve a purpose, but they cannot prevent a student from expressing religious beliefs. In this episode, we look at what the law and courts have said about religion equity in the context of dress codes and what schools should be doing to avoid infringing on students’ rights. We also hear from a former student who is Muslim on her experiences in school. For this discussion, Phoebe Schlanger, the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium senior publications editor, and Nada Mousa, a research and program assistant at MAEC, join David Hinojosa, J.D., director of the federally-funded IDRA EAC-South, which provides technical assistance and training to build capacity of local educators to serve their diverse student populations.

Show length: 15:15

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Religion Equity in Schools – Protecting Students and Their Civil Rights, IDRA Newsletter, August 2018

Religion Equity and School Dress Codes, IDRA Newsletter, August 2018

Dress Codes, Anti-Defamation League

Combating Religious Discrimination and Protecting Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of Justice

A Matter of Life and Death – Two Scholars Make the Case for Teaching Religious Literacy, Teaching Tolerance, Summer 2017

Diversity, Race & Religion, StopBullying.gov

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Show Notes

  • Phoebe talks about foundational issues of religion equity and dress codes that districts and schools should keep in mind, including students’ First Amendment rights.

  • Phoebe and David cite relevant court cases where these rights have been considered and weighed against schools’ obligations to protect their students.

  • Phoebe outlines best practices for schools in developing fair and reasonable dress codes.

  • David explains how schools can build a culture of inclusiveness to help reduce bullying and harassment.

  • Nada recounts her experiences growing up as a Muslim in the public schools, where her requests for religious dress and accommodations were often not well understood.