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Education ministry investigates claims of religious discrimination at St Hilda's

Published:Thursday | October 8, 2015 | 10:15 PMGleaner Writer

A team from the Ministry of Education is now in St Ann investigating claims of religious discrimination at the St Hilda's Diocesan High School.

The Ministry says it will be issuing a statement on the matter tomorrow. 

The incident surrounds the Anglican school's withdrawal of the Head Girl position from a student because she is reportedly a Jehovah's Witness.

According to the school, the position was rescinded given the potential conflict that such a position would pose, given that the student is a Witness.

It says it would never ask students to assume duties that are in conflict with the beliefs and practice of their faith.

The student's mother has disputed that the child is a Witness. 

Jehovah's Witnesses are discouraged from holding leadership positions in schools.

They are prohibited from participating in religious activities outside their faith.

Meanwhile, at least one attorney is suggesting that administrators at St Hilda’s Diocesan High School were not wrong when they withdrew a student’s appointment as head girl for religious reasons.

Attorney-at-law Linton Gordon says the school would have been breaching the student’s rights by putting her in a position where she would have to perform certain functions that are against her religious beliefs.

He says by withdrawing the appointment, this situation has been avoided.

However, Linton believes the safest way to deal with such issues and avoid conflicts is by removing religion from schools.