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High School Invites All Female Students to Wear an Islamic Head Covering — Now Issuing an Apology

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"When is A Cross-Wearer’s Challenge day at Mason High? When is A Yarmulke Wearer’s Challenge day at Mason High?"

An Islamic hijab (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

An initiative that encouraged female high school students to voluntarily wear a hijab — an Islamic head covering — during the school day on April 23, has been canceled following intense controversy, with the school's principal issuing an apology to parents.

Principal Mindy McCarty-Stewart of Mason High School in Mason, Ohio, officially announced the cancellation of the "Covered Girl Challenge" in an email that she sent to parents on Thursday night, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The initiative, organized by the Muslim Student Association, sparked backlash after a previous email was sent by school officials on Thursday morning that appeared to endorse the effort, leading McCarty-Stewart to later apologize to the community.

"This communication should not have come from our Student Activities Department because this was a student-led initiative, rather than a school-sponsored activity," she said of the initial message. "We will put procedures into place in the future that ensure that any communication from a school email is for a school-sponsored event, and not merely supported by a student-run group."

Read the apology letter below:

The principal went on to say that negative messages the school received following coverage of the event led her to reconsider its viability.

"After much consideration and after talking with the student event organizers, we have cancelled the event," she said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The initial email invited all female students to participate in "A Covered Girl Challenge" — an opportunity that the communication said would "allow students to wear a headscarf for the whole school day."

This was to be followed up with an event that included a discussion about the experience. Parents who wanted their children to participate were asked to submit a permission slip.

Controversy reportedly first broke out after JihadWatch.org, an anti-extremism website run by Robert Spencer, published a story critical of the event after he said parents reached out to him to express their concerns.

"When is A Cross-Wearer’s Challenge day at Mason High? When is A Yarmulke Wearer’s Challenge day at Mason High? Or is it only Islam that gets this treatment?" he asked. "Also, I am looking forward to Mason High’s Uncovered Girl Challenge, in honor of Aqsa Parvez, whoseMuslim father choked her to death with her hijab after she refused to wear it; and of Amina Muse Ali, a Christian woman in Somalia whom Muslims murdered because she wasn’t wearing a hijab."

Spencer is now claiming victory after the event was canceled, though some parents have defended the school, saying that "A Covered Girl Challenge" was an event that was created and led by a student-led club, and that officials did nothing wrong.

A battle continues to go back and forth on Facebook, though it appears the matter is settled for the time being. 

(H/T: Cincinnati Enquirer)

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Front page image via Shutterstock.com

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