A school in Australia denied admission to a 5-year-old Sikh boy on the grounds that his wearing a turban did not conform with the institute’s uniform policy, reported PTI. “It is disappointing that my son has been forced to abandon his religious practices and identity to access to an education in Melbourne’s Melton Christian College,” the boy’s father, Sagardeep Singh Arora, told SBS TV.
The family has approached the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, alleging discrimination against their religious belief. “It is immoral for a school to not allow students to practice their beliefs,” Arora said. Australia is home to more than 72,000 Sikhs.
Melton Christian College, however, stood by its position and said that school authorities will not allow any garment that is not part of the uniform. “For 30 years, our children have been in classrooms and playgrounds, learning, growing, and playing side by side, wonderfully oblivious to their families’ extensive religious diversities. We acknowledge the disappointment that Sagardeep and his family feel,” said the school in its response to the commission’s notice.
The institute’s rule is in direct contravention of a landmark ruling in 2008 – a private school in Brisbane had to revoke its uniform policy after it had forced a Sikh boy to cut his hair and remove his turban.