A teacher from a school in Mumbai’s Kurla has resigned after being allegedly harassed for wearing a hijab, or Muslim headscarf.
In her resignation letter addressed to the management of Bharat Education Society’s Vivek English High School, Shabina Khan blamed a head teacher for employing “torturous” techniques, including verbal abuse and intolerance against her religious garments. A hijab covers the head and neck but leaves the face uncovered.
When HT spoke to Vikram Pillai, the principal of the school, he refuted claims of religious intolerance by the school staff and said that the teacher’s resignation letter has been forwarded to the management.
“I’ve worked in the school for two years and nine months and enjoyed my job. But ever since the new head teacher took over in June 2016, the same atmosphere of school has been in turmoil,” states the resignation letter submitted by Khan.
The letter further alleges that the head teacher has often verbally abused her and attacked her religious and cultural belief, more particularly on wearing hijab and headscarf to work. “These tactics directly oppose my personal religious philosophy. I cannot work in such a hostile environment as it is also physically and mentally stressful for me,” said Khan.
“There always is a problem when a new person joins an organisation. It doesn’t seem to be a major issue but can be a case of ego-clash between teachers. We have received the resignation letter and forwarded it to the management. They will take a decision by next week,” Pillai said.