Barely 24hours after Lagos state government approves the use of Islamic headscarf, hijab in public schools in the state a 13 year old khadeejah Adewunmi Ajayi was prevented from preparing for her test because she had her hijab on her school uniform after school hours.
According to a press statement released and signed by Mutiat Orolu-Balogun, Executive Director,Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Khadeejah, a JSS 2 student of Army Cantonment Girls Secondary School in Ojo, Lagos was accosted by her teachers outside the school compound after school hours and while on her way home.
The statement titled “Mrs Ogunyemi and Mrs Okpara and two others dare Lagos State Government on use of hijab in Lagos state” reads thus: “She was ordered to remove her hijab, upon fervent pleas that she would not remove it, the teachers forcefully snatched her hijab and her school bag away from her, handed them over to a military security officer at a nearby security post, while the poor girl child wept for her bag as she had tests and assignments to write and submit the next day.
This is yet another manifestation of the schemes and intolerance of some teachers in Lagos state who are supposed to stand in loco parentis to children under their watch, but have thrown caution to the wind in exhibiting their bigotry against Islam and are bent on disrupting the relative peace and the good will of the government in Lagos state by continuously carrying out their plot that the Muslim girl child does not receive education in government schools funded by taxpayers in the State.”
It added that “We, are disturbed by this new development as the teachers have boldly dared the Lagos State government that irrespective of the directive that “No student should be discriminated against in any form on the basis of religion” the four teachers, two of which the student does not know their names, have decided to constitute a government of their own, giving no qualms about obedience to constituted authorities and showing no regard to the rule of law.
More surprising is the fact that Khadeejah’s small hijab perfectly fits the description as recommended in the just issued circular, yet these teachers decided to ignore the circular as issued by their employer.
As little Khadeejah would be taking her tests today without due preparation, her parents who contacted us, are resolved to pursue the matter to a resolute conclusion. They are determined that this will not just be yet another case where the right of a child would be trampled upon, leaving her at the mercy of her unrepentant violators. They are therefore giving the Lagos State government 7 days to look into this provocative action and show if actually the government is concerned about maintaining a state where all citizens are given equal opportunity under the law.
For we must all thrive together “to build a Nation where peace and Justice shall reign”