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2011-09-26 - Council of State, n. 215331

Workplace · Belgium · Dress code · Neutrality · School

Teacher wearing headscarf denied access to her classroom

Key facts of the case - The applicant is a teacher of Islamic religion and wears a headscarf. She sought after the suspension of enforcement of a school’s internal regulations prohibiting the wearing of any sign of political, ideological or religious belonging, including dress sign. This applies permanently to anyone and in all the premises of the school, except for teachers of philosophy. She was prevented from accessing her class room.

Main reasoning of the court - The Council of State notes the lack of clear and individual decision of the school denying her access to her class room. The argument about neutrality was considered to be too vague to be understood as a clear prohibition of the Islamic headscarf. As a consequence, the school’s decision to refuse entry to a teacher with a headscarf was not seen as an issue about administrative validity but an arbitrary action.

See the decision: 2011-09-26 - Council of State, n. 215331.