Five-year-old Sikh boy denied school enrollment in Australia for wearing turban

MELBOURNE: A five-year-old Sikh boy has been denied school enrollment in Australia for wearing turban as it does not align with its uniform policy, despite a landmark ruling in 2008 against a private institution on the issue.

"It is disappointing that my son has been forced to abandon his religious practices and identity to access to an education in Melbourne's Melton Christian College (MCC)," Sagardeep Singh Arora was quoted as saying by the SBS TV.

"We have lodged a claim with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC)."

"I believe having a common school uniform is important in promoting school identity and integration," Arora said.

"Students should be able to wear their significant religious symbols and articles of faith. It's immoral for a school to not allow students to practice their beliefs."

"We were in discussions regarding the importance of hair & turban in Sikhism and acceptance of turban as uniform by different organisations (like schools, army, and police) in Australia and the other countries," says Arora. "Yet, the college has refused to review their uniform policy."

Given the long history of the Sikh community in Australia, Arora says it's disappointing that they still struggle with issues such as this.

PTI