I’m curious about whether the student approached you with this question? If not, how/why do you plan to approach her?
Put aside thoughts about religion, religious clothing & symbolism.
Put aside preconceptions about what works in CHEM labs.
Go back to basics:
<![if !supportLists]>-   ; <![endif]>protect eyes,
<![if !supportLists]>-   ; <![endif]>protect feet,
<![if !supportLists]>-   ; <![endif]>protect skin,
<![if !supportLists]>-   ; <![endif]>keep loose stuff (books, hair, clothing & jewel ry)
<![if !supportLists]>o <![endif]>off the floor,
<![if !supportLists]>o <![endif]>away from flames &
<![if !supportLists]>o <![endif]>away moving parts.
Now sit down with the student & brainstorm whether any of these priorities wi ll be a problem. Learn what she has to teach you about why she chooses what she does & where her flexibility is, but keep the focus on functionali ty. Look at your rules & see if your assumptions stand up to the reality of this young woman wanting to learn what you have to teach.
I have not dealt with a full burka, but many of our young w omen wear scarves of various fullness & length (all for reasons I don 8217;t need to know). When they’ve been loose, I recommend tucking the ends into the required lab coat. More often, they are already tied & tucked before I see them.
Please tell us what you learn & what you decide. WeR 17;ll all be glad to learn.
Sheila M. Kennedy, CHO
(858) 534 – 0221
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of California, San Diego
2011 NIOSH Collegiate Safety Award
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**list.uvm.edu]
On Behalf Of Yaeger, Mary Ann
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 7:28 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Burka and safety
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
120 N. State Street
Dover DE 19901
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