Teacher does not need to shake hands

A Muslim teacher, who refuses to shake hands on religious grounds, should keep her job, the Equal Opportunity Commission said on Tuesday. The teacher had been suspended from her job at the Vader Rijn College in Utrecht.

The teacher had argued that shaking hands was not an every-day greeting in the education sector and her refusal to do so did not hurt her ability to do her job.
The commission ruled that there were other forms of greeting the teacher could use which still complied with the school’s commitment to teaching its pupils respect, and preparing them for the jobs market.
School head Bart Engbers told reporters he was very disappointed.
Education minister Maria van der Hoeven said she did not understand the commission’s decision. A Labour party spokesman said that teachers should set a good example. ‘Pupils should learn than shaking hands is something we do,’ the spokesman told news agency ANP.

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