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Germany

First German State Bans Teachers Wearing Headscarves

The southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg passed a law on Thursday forbidding teachers from wearing headscarves in publicly run schools. Parliamentarians from the ruling coalition Christian Democrats and Free Democrats as well as the opposition Social Democrats almost unanimously approved the amendment to legislation on state schools. The law bans headscarves in schools, which some Moslem women choose to wear, but it allows teachers to don Christian symbols, such as nun's habits. The Green party failed to garner enough support for an alternative to the law, which called for schools to have the right to ban headscarves in individual cases if educators wore them as political symbols. Five other German states have drafted legislation to prevent civil servants, such as teachers, from wearing headscarves since Germany's highest court decided last year that states could decide over such matters.