I've read a lot of these responses. My biggest issue is that few of
them seem to made with experience having this specific situation. I
understand the desire treat clothes uniform regardless of the reason for
wearing them, but in this case it cannot be done. The student isn't
wearing the Burka because she wants to, she feels compelled for
religious reasons to do so. Special accommodations for religious
reasons are widely accepted, and should also be in this case.
I definitely support the idea of contacting the legal department. We
live in a litigious society, and CYA applies here.
In terms of actually solving the problem (because lawyers rarely solve
things), I want to propose something else. Qatar University has been
around since 1973, I assume they have a procedure to deal with this
issue. When making a tough decision about a religious situation it is
always a good idea to see how that religion deals with the same issue.
So I found this gentlemen who works at Qatar University as an organic
professor. He got his Ph.D. in the UK. He teaches chemistry labs and
has listed that he used to give lectures on OSHA safety. Here's his
Bio, including his contact information.
I think it might be a good idea for one of the moderators of this group
reached out to him (on behalf of the group) and asked him how they deal
with this situation. At this point, I'm just curious as to how they
> Could others tell me how you deal with a student who wears a Burka taking
> an organic chemistry class, or any lab class for that matter? We
> certainly don't want to discriminate religiously, so how do we deal with
> the safety issues of that. Surprisingly this is the first time this
> situation has arisen for us.
> MaryAnn Yaeger, MS
> Supervisor of Laboratory Services,
> Chemical Hygiene Officer
> Wesley College
> 120 N. State Street
> Dover DE 19901
> Ph. 302-736-2389
> Fax 302-736-2301
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