A school in The Hague has been ordered to pay €500 compensation to two Muslim children who missed the annual school photograph because it clashed with the end of Ramadan.
The Maria Montessorischool hired the photographer without realising the date coincided with Eid al-Fitr, and was unable to rearrange the booking by the time the mistake came to light.
The district court in The Hague decided on Monday that the school had indirectly discriminated against the two children, breaching their legal right to equal treatment.
The court decided there was no direct discrimination on grounds of religion because the school later arranged for the photographer to return and take the children’s pictures separately. However, the school had failed to offer alternatives when it became aware of the error.
Lawyer Laura Zuydgeest told Omroep West the parents were satisfied with the outcome of the case. ‘They are disappointed that it had to go so far, but the school did not want to apologise or accept that it had acted wrongly and only wanted to discuss the matter if my clients observed the strictest secrecy,’ she said. ‘That was unacceptable for them.’
Zuydgeest said the families planned to donate the money to charity. ‘It is now set down in black and white that a school must take the faiths of all children in the school into account when offering services.’
Editor’s note: This article was amended on July 18 to correct the name of the Eid celebration.
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