A new set of guidelines created for Catholic secondary schools to deal with students of other faiths forbids the wearing of full-face veils used by girls of the Muslim religion.
Included in the new guidelines are how to deal with issues such as delivering sex education talks and issues pertaining to overall uniform codes.
The guidelines were created after several Catholic schools asked for clarity on how to embrace other religions while still maintaining their Catholic ethos.
The new guidelines entitled “'Guidelines on the Inclusion of Students from other Faiths in Catholic Secondary Schools” was served to over 450 schools this week.
Aiveen Mullally, an expert on religion and culture, drew them up for the Joine Managerial Body, who represents Catholic secondary schools in Ireland.
The guidelines states clearly that parents of the students must be informed of issues pertaining to uniforms, girls involved in sports with boys and such issues prior to the child starting school.
Despite not allowing Muslim girls to wear a full-face veil (niqab) they may wear a hijab and the Sikh boys may wear a turban.
The guidelines also state that it is reasonable to ask a pupil, or her mother, to uncover their face for a meeting -- but only on the understanding that no man will enter the room.
Other issues covered in the guidelines suggest that students of different religions cannot insist on their own religious instruction to be taught in the school, however, if a large group of one faith is present the guidelines suggest inviting a leader of that domination into the school during religious class.