Petition against East Ham school’s hijab ban for under 8s gets 8,000 signatures in two days

PUBLISHED: 16:09 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:34 17 January 2018

St Stephen's in East Ham. Picture: Google

St Stephen's in East Ham. Picture: Google


A petition calling for an end to an East Ham school’s ban on hijabs and fasting has got 8,000 signatures in two days.

There has been a strong backlash against the school’s bold stance on the issue.

In a Sunday Times article this weekend, the school’s headteacher Neena Lall told the newspaper the changes had been made to help integrate children into British society.

“Freedom of expression is a must regardless of age,” it says on the petition’s webpage, which was started by Hafsah Dabiri.

“The hijab represents a choice and to remove it is the very oppression which actors claim to prevent,” it adds.

“It’s not a request or a plea, it’s a demand.”

The school’s policy is against the UN Convention on Human Rights, it adds.

In the interview she said that a few years ago she asked the children to put their hands up if they thought they were British. “Very few” said they did.


  • The headmistress is absolutely right, there is no place for this nonsense in modern Britain and especially in schools.

    Report this comment

    Harry Slider

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

  • Expressing freedom of choice doesn't mean we have to allow bizarre freaky stuff like multi coloured hair etc, so don't worry about freakiness becoming the norms darling, children don't like cross-dressing and rainbow hair anyway! ��. Using the 'integration' claim to implement hate will only harm race relations and encourage extremism as extremists thrive on divisiveness, so the way forward is embracing all and hating none

    Report this comment

    Assad Ullah

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

  • good it should be banned out right post boxes sat in school rooms look out of place in a civilised land

    Report this comment

    Derek Ashurst

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

  • Any form of racismreligious discrimination has no room in Britain! Neena should be sacked from her job for making rules against human rights and which clearly are an expression of religious hate Most students are Muslim in her school, if she hates their religion then how should she remain being head in that school? As for her 'integration' claim, last time I checked, Britain has been allowing freedom of religionexpression for last 100 years and there is no law that everyone has to be 'non-muslimy' It's about time we weed out all forms of hate in the guise of 'integration'

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

  • Freedom of expression comes in many forms, it could be a boy wanting to wear a school dress instead of trousers or maybe a child wants to express themselves by having rainbow coloured hair. Where does it all end? Schools purpose is learning and the children can wear the hijab when they aren't at school and "express themselves". The hijab does not help bring about inclusion , it just builds up barriers. Barriers that an under 8 certainly does not need. 8000 signatures for the ban could be gained just as easy if somebody wanted to put in the footwork

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    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

  • Neena should not interfere with peoples religions. She is a Sikh. Bet it her school was full of Sikh boys, she would not be demanding they take their turbans off. Her duty is to guide children to be able to pass their exams and get good grades, not make children less Muslim!

    Report this comment

    Coli Ahmed

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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