The Board of Governors of International School, Ibadan (ISI), University of Ibadan, has declared that the two weeks suspension of a female Muslim student, Miss Ikhlass Olasubomi Badiru, has nothing to do with wearing of Hijab.
Recall that the school had last week said it suspended Badiru because she was found guilty of act of impudence to the school authority. The two weeks suspension takes effect from 7th to 18th October
The school in the suspension letter signed by its Principal, Phebean Olowe, and addressed to Badiru, insisted that the disciplinary committee looked into Badiru’s action and found her guilty of act of impudence to the school authority, though there were allegations by parents of the affected student, other Muslim parents in the school, Islamic organizations including the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) that she was suspended because of Hijab.
But, the School Board of Governors while reacting, affirmed that the suspension of the student has absolutely nothing to do with Hijab.
The board in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday insisted that Badiru was suspended for wearing unauthorised cardigan.
The statement reads, “The Board of Governors, hereby affirms, for the special attention of all parents, guardians, stakeholders and the general public, that the suspension of Ikhlas has absolutely nothing to do with Hijab. Rather, she has been suspended for wearing unauthorised cardigan, refusal to take this off as instructed by a Vice-Principal of the school, while other offenders complied, and defiantly walking out on the Vice-Principal.
“This is an established case of misconduct bordering on an act of impudence, to which Ikhlas affirmed her liability in her written and oral defence. In line with the rules and regulation of the school, the SDIP recommended that she be suspended for two weeks as a corrective measure and to serve as a deterrent to other students.
“The recommendations of the SDIP was considered and subsequently approved by the main Student Disciplinary Committee (SDC) on Wednesday, 28 August 2019. Given that the school was on vacation at the time of the approval of the recommendation of suspension, its implementation was deferred to the commencement of the resumption of school by the SS3 students.
“The attention of the Board of Governors of The International School University of Ibadan has been drawn to several reports on the social media in respect of a female student, Ikhlas Olasubomi Badiru, who has been suspended for two weeks for committing an act of impudence. Having carefully investigated the matter, the Board hereby reports that it was falsely reported that Ikhlas was suspended for ‘wearing hijab on her school uniform’ on several social media platforms.
“Ikhlas and some other students wore unauthorized cardigans to school on Thursday, 4 July 2019. They were directed to remove the unauthorized cardigans by one of the Vice-Principals of the school.
“While other students, with humility, complied with the directive of the Vice-Principal, Ikhlas blatantly refused to comply. She subsequently defiantly walked out on the Vice-Principal who instructed her and some other students to take off the unauthorized cardigans.
“The Vice-Principal reported the matter to the Management of the School. Ikhlas was invited to make a statement on what transpired. The matter was referred to the Student Disciplinary Investigation
“Panel (SDIP) to give Ikhlas a fair hearing and the SDIP met on Thursday 4 July 2019 to consider the case. Ikhlas was invited by the SDIP to present her case and she did so. It is instructive to note that at the meeting of the SDIP, the following were established:
“Ikhlas refused to obey the instructions of the officer of the school to remove the unauthorized cardigan.
“She defiantly walked away when the officer instructed her to remove the cardigan. The conduct is rather strange and unexpected of any student of ISI! Indeed, from the available records, this is the first time a student of the school will behave in such a manner.
“From all facts available to the school, the state of health of Ikhlas on that day did not prevent her from respecting the regulations of the school which she undertook to obey and be of good conduct as a student of the school. Besides, she did not claim that she was feeling unwell in any way while she was addressing the Vice-Principal.”
Newsmen recall that the use of Hijab has since November 2018, been generating a lot of controversies in the school, which made parents of some Muslim students to jointly sue the school, its principal, University of Ibadan and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the school who also doubled as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the university.