Quebec elementary school teacher reassigned from class over hijab due to Bill 21


Published December 9, 2021 at 11:18 am

MONTREAL — An elementary school teacher in western Quebec has been reassigned from her classroom because her hijab contravenes the province’s law forbidding teachers from wearing religious symbols.

Parents at Chelsea Elementary School say they found out in a letter last week the teacher was being moved to a different job, and later some discovered it was due to her hijab, confirmed by the teacher in an interview with a local newspaper.

Amanda DeGrace, one of the parents, says supporters have been hanging green ribbons on a fence in support of the teacher and are organizing a letter-writing campaign urging parents to denounce the situation.

The secularism law, known as Bill 21, was passed in June 2019 and bans the wearing of religious symbols such as hijabs, kippas and turbans by teachers and other government employees deemed to be in positions of authority.

In a statement, the Western Quebec School Board, which has previously come out firmly against Bill 21, declined to comment specifically due to confidentiality surrounding human resources issues.

Director general Mike Dubeau says the board’s stance on Bill 21 has not changed but added it is subject to provincial laws that regulate employment in the public sector.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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