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Egyptian teacher fired for cutting girls’ hair

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A school teacher decides to teach two of her students a lesson for not wearing the veil

Eman Abu Bakr, a teacher who cut the hair of two of her female students for not wearing the veil, was fired on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Abu Bakr had given the girls warning for not wearing the headscarf before. She told Reuters that it had started as a joke giving all the girls a warning that if they don’t wear the veil, she would have to cut their hair. According to the Palestine News Network (PNN), she made this warning after students in the class asked the teacher how these two girls can show up without wearing the veil.

When they showed up the next time without the veil, a boy handed Abu Bakr a pair of scissors reminding her of the warning she had issued the 12 year-olds. Abu Bakr said that she doesn’t see what the whole fuss is about, the PNN said, adding that all she did was cut a few centimetres of their hair when the rest of the students insisted that she carry out her threat. Abu Bakr herself wears a full veil covering her face.

According to PNN, the two girls, Ola Kasem and Mona Al-Rawy, go to the Hadadeen Primary School in South Luxor. They were the only two girls in the classroom who did not wear the veil. Reuters reported that Abu Bakr had told all of the girls in the classroom that if they are ten years-old or older, they should be wearing it.

After the families of the girls filed a complaint at the Ministry of Education, Abu Bakr was referred to investigations, the PNN added.

Reports that the minister of education said corporal punishment can be carried out in school have been condemned by many groups protecting children such as the Pediatric Association, which said in response to the statements that beating children violates their rights, according to state-run Egy News.

Independent newspaper, Al-Dostour, said that many children’s rights groups including the Egyptian Center for the Right to Education and the Community Committees for the Right to Education are willing to take legal action against the minister. The groups described his statements as a crime and said Abu Bakr’s actions are a direct result of his statements.


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