A dress code violation lead to multiple fights between students and one arrest at a Louisiana high school on Thursday.
Ted Beasley, the director of communications for Jefferson Parish Schools, told WGNO that on Thursday, a staff member at Helen Cox High School in Harvey, LA, asked a female Muslim student to remove her hoodie, as the item is a violation of the school's uniform policy.
According to Beasley, students are not allowed to wear hoodies as they threaten school safety. Beasley stated that hoodies could be pulled tightly around the face to "conceal a student's identity," which would possibly prevent staff from keeping non-students out of the building.
Some women who follow or practice Islam keep their arms covered for religious purposes. As the female Muslim student was not wearing a long sleeve shirt underneath her hoodie, she refused to remove it because "she didn't want to expose her (bare) arms," according to Beasley.
“Hoodies are against our dress code policy, and it is common that when the weather starts getting colder we will see them more often in our schools,” Beasley tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I've seen a number of social media comments that claim the student was asked to remove her hijab and that is not true. The student was asked to remove a hoodie.”
Some students began to defend the female student and the small protest spread across the school. Other students, who heard "rumors," pulled the fire alarm. During the confusion, multiple fights broke out among groups of students and Jefferson Parish police were called. Ultimately, the incident ended with a 16-year-old male student’s arrest for battery on a police officer, resisting an officer, and interfering with an educational facility.
“We had students walk out this afternoon in a planned protest over a dress code violation. When other students noticed the small protest, it prompted a larger walkout. Some students pulled the fire alarm, prompting more students to leave their classrooms and exit the building. During this time, a few student fights occurred,” Principal Brandon Van Vleck told parents in a statement, provided to Yahoo Lifestyle. “As student safety is paramount... we called in additional law enforcement support to ensure the safety of our students.”
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