The administrators of a Colorado school district issued a dress code for students enrolled in a world religion class ahead of a planned voluntary field trip to a Denver mosque.
Peter Boyles, a radio host at the local KNUS-AM radio station, stated that he had a copy of the notice that parents had received from the district officials regarding the field trip.
“We will be visiting the Denver Mosque, the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and the Rodef-Shalom Synagogue. THERE IS A DRESS CODE FOR THIS TRIP. All students must wear appropriate long pants. Ankles must be covered. Girls must bring wide scarves or hooded sweatshirts for the mosque,” the notice read. It is unclear whether the students will need to adhere to other dress codes when they visit other places of worship.
While the locations of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and the Rodef-Shalom Synagogue are known, the Salatomatic has not listed any mosques in the area called “the Denver Mosque.” The Salatomatic is a website that tracks mosques and Islamic schools, and has only 17 mosques listed in the Denver area.
Commenting on news of the field trip, Boyles argued that public schools were mandated to treat boys and girls equally. “They’re holding these girls to a different standard…” he stated, for “a religious reason.” He then stated that the district wasn’t supposed to apply the Islamic principles “to public school kids.”
Boyles’ radio show commentary about the field trip has made many people, including local parents, upset about the dress code. In response, school district officials issued a statement to clear the air:
“For the past ten years, RHMS seventh-grade students take a social studies course that is partially focused on world religion. In the Douglas County School District (DCSD), we provide authentic learning experiences to all students. We teach students how to think, not what to think.
The social studies course includes a voluntary field trip to a Greek Orthodox Church, a Jewish Temple, and a Mosque. As with any field trip, our students and families are offered the choice to participate in the field trip -- it is not mandatory. If the decision is made to not participate in a field trip, alternative educational opportunities are provided. This is true for any DCSD field trip, including the RHMS world religion field trip. Students who choose to attend the RHMS world religion field trip are expected to respect the dress code of the host facility, but again, they may choose not to participate. Information shared with RHMS parents stated: ‘All students must wear appropriate long pants. Ankles must be covered. Girls must bring wide scarves or hooded sweatshirts for the mosque.’"
DISCLAIMER: A series of corrections were made to this story on 4/2/2020.