Student and her family fight for rights after school says her hijab wasn’t in line with the uniform policy

Aug 23, 2022, 3:05 PM | Updated: Aug 30, 2022, 11:25 am

Sister of student who was reprimanded for wearing Hijab posted a pic of school citation....

Sister of student who was reprimanded for wearing Hijab posted a pic of school citation.

(CNN) — A Massachusetts student and her family are fighting for her religious identity after her school says her hijab represented a school uniform infraction.

Aya Zeabi said her younger sister went to Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden last week for her first day of school and had officially taken a “a huge step” to wear a hijab, a traditional Muslim head covering for women.

“No one wears a hijab lightly,” Zeabi said. “It takes a lot of reflection and confidence to decide that you’re ready for it and even more to practice wearing it everyday out in public, especially in such unfriendly times.”

The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School parent handbook for the 2022-2023 school year says, “Any kind of head covering, including hats, bandanas, and netting, are not allowed.”

And on at least two pages of the handbook the school says it, “will make reasonable accommodations for students with sincerely held religious beliefs or documented medical health issues.”

Zeabi said her younger sister “came home crying because of her own school’s racist and discriminatory actions.”

Zeabi, who also attended Mystic Valley, said this isn’t the first time the school had a problem with the hijab. Her older sister, Dalia, faced the same issue 10 years ago.

“She remained in in-school detention until we brought a signed letter from our masjid’s imam saying that the hijab was a religious covering and a major part of Islam and not something she did for fashion or fun,” Zeabi said.

In a statement provided to CNN, school Director and Superintendent Alexander Dan said: “Mystic Valley Regional Charter School wishes to express its regret at how the recent incident of one of our Muslim students who chose to express her faith by wearing the hijab was mishandled. It is our current policy to allow students to wear religious attire as an expression of their sincerely held beliefs,” he said.

“As part of this process, we request a letter expressing this desire from a member of their clergy. While we would like to reiterate that the well-respected staff member overseeing the process should bear no responsibility for what has transpired, we understand how our handling of the situation came across as insensitive and look forward to using this moment as a learning opportunity to improve our policies and procedures,” he continued.

The Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it spoke to Zeabi’s family on Friday.

“As of today, Aug. 20, the family has authorized us to let you know that the immediate situation is under control, as the student is wearing her hijab in school,” CAIR said in a statement.

“We will continue to investigate what happened, review the policies of the school, and research applicable state and federal laws,” the statement added.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live


Dave Drewry's pet donkey, Diesel disappeared in California five years ago and he’s been spotted l...

Scottie Andrew, CNN

A pet donkey disappeared in California five years ago was spotted living with a herd of wild elk

For years, Diesel's owners assumed the worst happened to their donkey after he ran away. But, a hunter found a particular sight when he was hunting deer earlier this year.

59 minutes ago

Country officials said dozens of Hajj pilgrims have died as Mecca temperatures hit 120F, and seen h...

Lauren Kent, Caroline Faraj and Hande Atay Alam, CNN

Hundreds of Hajj pilgrims die as Mecca temperatures hit 120 Fahrenheit

More than 300 people have died and thousands have been treated for heatstroke while performing the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca amid extreme temperatures.

1 hour ago

Corporate America is rapidly adopting artificial intelligence to automate work once exclusively don...

Matt Egan, CNN

AI is replacing human tasks faster than you think

Nearly half (46%) of large US firms plan to use AI within the next year to automate tasks previously done by employees according to a study.

6 hours ago

FILE: A sign is posted in front of a McDonald's restaurant on February 06, 2024 in San Leandro, Cal...

Jordan Valinsky

McDonald’s releases a new $5 value meal to combat inflation

McDonald’s has revealed the details of its highly anticipated $5 value meal, which the fast food chain hopes will rev up sluggish sales and lure back customers who have cut back.

9 hours ago

Matera, Italy, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site for more than 30 years.
Mandatory Credit:	Poik...

Angelica Chiara Yazbeck and Louis Mian, CNN

Historic building in Italy damaged by parkour tourists

Jumping from building to building in an ancient city might seem like a dream for those who practice parkour — a sport that involves making it past obstacles — but it can cause damage to historic buildings.

1 day ago

Community members in Denver's Central Park neighborhood have a lot of questions after discovering a...

Karen Morfitt, KCNC

Registered sex offender found operating ice cream truck in Denver

Community members in Denver's Central Park neighborhood have a lot of questions after discovering a registered sex offender was operating the neighborhood ice cream truck.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Student and her family fight for rights after school says her hijab wasn’t in line with the uniform policy