A school in Utrecht was within its rights to sack a female teacher who refused to shake hands with men because of her religion, the civil service appeal board ruled on Monday.
Although the equal opportunities commission had found in the woman’s favour, the civil court in Utrecht ruled in favour of the school, prompting her to appeal.
Samira Dahri had taught at the school for several years before deciding she no longer wanted to shake hands with men.
Trouw reports that the board ruled the school was right to sack her for two reasons. Firstly, the school, with a large proportion of immigrant pupils, is supposed to ready students for the Dutch labour market – and that includes shaking hands.
And secondly, the teacher’s position as a role model and school representative is more important than protecting her against discrimination on the grounds of her religion, Trouw said.
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