The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, is considering bending its uniform policy for a female Muslim student who wants to wear a hijab.
The Charleston, S.C. school, whose rich military history dates back to 1842 when it was first established, has likely never allowed a student to wear anything but the required uniform "to our knowledge," spokeswoman Kim Keelor told NBC News.
"It's an old school, though."
The Citadel's religious accommodation policy
states, "The Citadel places a high value on the rights of cadets to observe tenets of their respective religious faiths.
"The Citadel will approve requests for accommodation of religious practices unless accommodation will have an adverse impact on a competing institutional interest including, but not limited to, cohesion, morale, good order and discipline, cadet welfare, safety and/or health. Accommodation of a cadet's religious practices must be examined considering these factors and cannot be guaranteed at all times."
The school's uniform policy, according to NBC, is for students to wear uniforms at all times, with a few exceptions.
Requests for deviating from the policy must go through the student's "chain of command," and the process includes an interview with a chaplain. The commandant must approve all requests.
One cadet at the school wrote a Facebook post
this week, saying he was called a bigot for opposing the Muslim student's request.
"Today, I was called a bigot," Nick Pinelli wrote. "Someone who lives a few doors down from me asked me if I, 'could not be a bigot for a few hours this morning.' She asked me this while I was engaged in a dialogue with a few of my friends here at the Citadel. She was taking issue with the content of our conversation, and concluded I was a bigot because of it."
The Citadel admitted its first female student in 1996.
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