Muskogee decision on Muslim headwear nearing

(October 15, 2003) - (Muskogee-AP) -- A committee in Muskogee, Oklahoma, could decide today whether to uphold the suspension of a Muslim girl who wore a religious head scarf to school. Nashala Hearn and her family appealed the decision by Benjamin Franklin Science Academy to suspend the 11-year-old for wearing a hijab. She was suspended October First for three days for wearing the scarf. After returning from the first suspension, the girl was sent home for five more days for wearing the hijab. The girl's father says she won't return without the hijab. She has missed two weeks of school. The dress code bars hats, caps, bandanas or other headwear. Officials claim the ban targets gang activity.