The principal of a Christian College has come under fire for transferring two student teachers after they turned up for work dressed in traditional Muslim headwear.
The two women, in their final year of a teaching degree, had started a work placement at Redlands College this year.
In a newsletter addressed to the school’s parents on Tuesday, principal Mark Bensley outlined his reasons for dismissing the pair, explaining he had acted out of a “duty of care”.
“I have a duty of care to ensure that those teaching at the College are actively supporting the Christian principles, practices and beliefs of the College,” he wrote.
“I see the wearing of the hijab as openly acting in a manner that is contrary to or inconsistent with these principles, practices and beliefs.”
The principal explained that he had arranged for both students to transfer to another school to complete their respective field work.
“While I respect their desire to wear a hijab, I feel it’s inappropriate to do so at Redlands College,” he wrote.
A statement issued to The Sunday Mail said, as a Christian school, Redlands College “respects and loves all people, from all backgrounds and religions”.
“However we don’t hide our Christian values and we provide an important educational option for families seeking Christian education.
“We are not aware that they (student teachers) had any concerns, and it is our understanding that all parties came to a mutual agreement for the benefit of all.”
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SOURCE: The Courier-Mail