Another effort at a taxpayer-funded American high school to persuade female students — but only female students — to wear Muslim headscarves has failed disastrously.
The scene of the hijab hurly burly this time is Mason High School in a pleasant, family-friendly suburb of Cincinnati.
The intent of the Covered Girl Challenge was to celebrate diversity and “promote open-mindedness,” explained a letter the school sent to parents.
“[T]he Muslim Student Association is inviting all female students to participate in ‘A Covered Girl Challenge’ which will allow students to wear a headscarf for the whole school day,” the letter explained, according to EAGnews.org.
Female students who wanted to participate were supposed to have their parents fill out a permission slip and return it to the high school office or “Mrs. Jenkin’s room in Z223.”
Mrs. Jenkins appears to be Caryn Jenkins, a social studies teacher at Mason High.
Local backlash against a public-school event endorsing Muslim religious tradition was swift and strong.
Some critics said the event could be construed as mocking Muslims — the way it wouldn’t be quite right for a student to wear the habit of a Catholic nun, for example.
Other critics noted that the Covered Girl Challenge amounts to an endorsement of Islam.
“I do not recall ever getting an email announcing a Christian Cross Wearing day or a booth for information about the Christian persecution from Islamic terrorists,” one-time local school board candidate Sharon Poe told the Enquirer. “What happens to the argument of the separation of church and state?”