A Melbourne Sikh family has a favourable outcome against a Christian college that refused entry to their son because he wears a turban, reports SBS Punjabi.
Sagardeep Singh Arora told the radio station that Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has ruled Melton Christian School (MCC) has breached the state’s Equal Opportunity Act by placing uniform conditions on his son’s enrolment.
“It is a great outcome. We are very pleased to hear this decision,” he was quoted in the report.
“The case will set a precedent for everyone else who wants their children to practice their religion or faith and cannot do it because some schools’ uniform policy excludes them from enrolment due to their appearance or their religious beliefs”
“We’ll be in touch with the school to resolve this issue.”
LISTEN TO THE SBS PUNJABI INTERVIEW HERE
The decision, which was handed down on Tuesday, could have wide-ranging implications for schools and the uniform policies they set, reported The Age.
The VCAT decision is also a win for the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC), who intervened in the case as the independent watchdog for equality law.
During the VCAT hearing, the commission’s head of legal and dispute resolution, Sarah Bendall, said it’s an important test case for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
“We would encourage all schools to look at their polices and make sure they are compliant with the legislation,” said Ms Bendall.
UNITED SIKHS provided legal representation to Singh family with the support of a local law firm the Herbert Smith Freehills.
Mejindarpal Kaur, International Legal Director from UNITED SIKHS told SBS Punjabi that their organization is raising this issue in the interests of all religious minorities.
The story that was first broadcast on SBS Punjabi triggered a nation-wide debate about the ‘right to education’ of children struggling with issues of ‘identity’ and ‘religious freedom’.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
Did Aussie Christian School Discriminate against Sikh Boy? (Asia Samachar, 26 July 2017)
Aussie father fights for five-year-old Sikh son to wear turban at Melbourne school (Asia Samachar, 25 July 2017)
United Sikhs offer legal representation to Aussie Sikhs affected by school turban discrimination (Asia Samachar, 5 Feb 2017)
US Army fitting present for Guru Gobind Singh birthday (Asia Samachar, 6 Jan 2017)
Sikh Youth NZ host another turban day (Asia Samachar, 21 Dec 2016)
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