A school in Frankfurt, Germany has come under fire after its principal told a young girl she should deny her German nationality and wear a hijab if she doesn’t want to get bullied.
The student’s mother told the Bild newspaper that her daughter was “beaten and verbally attacked on the way to school” by a group of Muslim girls.
She explained that her daughter was targeted because “she has blond hair, no headscarf, has a German-Hebrew name – and we are Christians”.
The bullying was so bad it left the fifth grader with a “massive fear of going to school”.
When she took her concerns to the schools headmaster, she was told her daughter should ‘cover up’ if she doesn’t want to get bullied.
“Your daughter does not have to say that she is German”, the headmaster reportedly told her.
“Besides, you can give her a headscarf.”
VoE reports: The school in question didn’t respond to Bild’s request for comment, however, the mother confirmed that their situation is a lot better now she has removed her daughter from the school.
There have been other recent cases of religious bullying in other schools across Germany.The Bild also cited one in Bavaria in which a father said his son and daughter came home one day panicked because another child had told them he would cut off their heads because they are Christians.
In Bonn, another mother said her daughter had shared a similar experience saying, “Our daughter and several classmates of the third grade were put under pressure by a classmate. They were threatened with the words, ‘Your parents will burn in hell if they do not believe in Allah’.”
Religious bullying has been especially prevalent in Berlin where many schools have high populations of migrant-background students.
In 2018, a group of Berlin teachers spoke out about religious bullying saying that German students could be bullied for as little as bringing a ham sandwich for their lunch because pork is forbidden in Islam.
The group advocated the Pro Berlin Neutrality Act which backs up existing legislation to ban religious symbols, such as the headscarf, from classrooms to combat religious bullying.
Austria, meanwhile, has implemented a headscarf ban in kindergartens and has been considering similar bans in elementary schools as well.
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