September 19, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Melbourne: As per the media reports emanating from Australia a Melbourne based Sikh family here today won a legal battle against a Christian school which refused to enroll their five-year-old son because of his dastar. Sidhak Singh Arora was due to start preparatory at Melton Christian College in Melbourne’s northwest this year.
It was said that his patka (children’s turban) does not comply with the school’s uniform policy which prohibits students from wearing any type of religious head covering.
Parents Sagardeep Singh Arora and his wife Anureet while interacting with local media outlet The Herald stated that the school breached the Equal Opportunity Act act by not allowing Sidhak to wear a patka when they tried to enrol him in 2016.
On Tuesday the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) ruled in the parents’ favour, finding the school had discriminated against Sidhak Singh Arora, it reportedly said.
“Whilst MCC is a Christian school, it has an open enrolment policy which means that it accepts enrolments of students from other faiths,” VCAT member Julie Grainger said.
“A little over 50% of the school community does not identify explicitly as Christian and many families at the school have no religious beliefs,” reads a quote from a report published in an English vernacular.
“It is not reasonable to accept enrolment applications from students from non-Christian faiths only on the condition that they do not look like they practice a non-Christian religion.”
The school could have amended its uniform policy to allow Sidhak Singh Arora to wear a turban in school colours, the VCAT finding added.
Categorically, Julie Grainger ordered the parents and the school to sit down and negotiate an agreement on what orders can be made to resolve the situation, notes Hindustan Times (HT).