State School Forces Students to Wear Hijabs, Ombudsman Intervenes

Arfi Bambani
Illustration: Students wear hijab at school in Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Illustration: Students wear hijab at school in Banda Aceh, Indonesia - Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia (ORI) Representative of Special Region Yogyakarta (DIY)-Central Java has scheduled the summons of two Counseling Teachers (BK), a Religion Teacher, and a homeroom teacher of State Senior High School 1 (SMAN 1) Banguntapan, Bantul Regency, Yogyakarta, regarding the alleged coercion of wearing a headscarf (hijab) against one of the students at the school. The student is reported to be depressed because of this coercion.

"Yesterday we have prepared a letter (call) for the BK, then the religion teacher, and homeroom teacher to attend and explain to the Ombudsman (DIY) Office," said the Head of ORI DIY-Central Java Representative, Budhi Masturi when contacted by Antara, Tuesday, August 2, 2022.

According to Masturi, two BK teachers at SMAN 1 Banguntapan will be summoned on Wednesday, while the religion teacher and homeroom teacher are scheduled for Thursday, August 4.

Masturi said that the case began when a new grade 10 student of SMAN 1 Banguntapan, Bantul Regency, cried in the school bathroom for an hour last Tuesday, July 19. The DIY Ombudsman Team, which was currently monitoring school recruitment at a local school, received the information and immediately asked the principal for an explanation.

"The principal invited his BK teacher and it was confirmed that there was a student who had been crying in the school toilets for an hour, but her condition was already in the process of calming down at the school clinic," he said.

At that time, the school informed the Ombudsman that the student was experiencing family problems.

On Wednesday, July 20, morning, the Yogyakarta Education Care Community Alliance (AMPPY) together with the student's parents reported that a Grade 10 Muslim student at SMAN 1 Banguntapan Bantul experienced severe depression because she was forced to wear a headscarf during the introduction to the school environment (MPLS). The girl was also reported to lock herself in her living room and reluctant to talk to her parents.

"So on Wednesday morning, her parents reported it. Because there was communication (BK) via WA which indicated it had something to do with BK summon (against the student)," said Masturi.

Following up on the report, said Masturi, Ombudsman asked the Principal of SMAN 1 Banguntapan, Bantul, Agung Istianto, for an explanation at the ORI Central Java-DIY Office on Friday, July 29. He said knowing nothing about the case at his school.

The principal, according to him, admitted that he did not know much about the sequence of events because he did not receive a report from the BK teacher. Therefore, Masturi will ask for a more detailed explanation, directly from the BK teacher, religion teacher, and homeroom teacher at SMAN 1 Banguntapan, Bantul, regarding the alleged forced hijab on the student.

"We will ask for an explanation regarding the summoning of the student to the counseling room and (asking her to) wear the special religious clothes (hijab)," he said.

The four people, he said, would also be asked for an explanation regarding the initial series or previous related incidents that led to the alleged coercion of wearing the hijab. The DIY Ombudsman is still collecting data, documents, and explanations so that he cannot conclude whether or not there was maladministration in the school.

Masturi said that educational units must comply with the Regulation of the Minister of Education and Culture (Permendikbud) Number 45 of 2014 concerning School Uniforms for Students at the Elementary and Secondary Education Levels. "The Permendikbud is optional, yes, you can use it or not, so students are actually given a choice. On the other hand, if someone chooses to use it, it shouldn't be banned," said Masturi.

Tag # state school # state school forces to wear hijab # indonesia education # yogyakarta # indonesia islam

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