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Refugee host school bans revealing clothes

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Photo: DPA
16:45 CEST+02:00
A school in Bavaria has sent a letter home to parents warning them not to let their daughters wear revealing blouses or short skirts, because emergency accommodation for refugees has been set up next to the gym.

A week ago emergency accommodation for 200 Syrian refugees was erected right next to the gym of Wilhelm-Diess-Gymnasium in Pocking, Bavaria, Die Welt reports.

The gym has been closed as a result, and PE lessons have been relocated to a nearby primary school, but the school is still worried about the refugees interacting with students.

So worried in fact that the headteacher recently sent out a letter to parents to give reassurance about extra security measures.

"For the refugees, access to the school gardens and buildings is strictly forbidden. The same goes for the school grounds during the day. The number of teachers on duty during breaks has been increased," read the letter from headteacher Martin Thalhammer.

The letter goes on to give students instructions on how to deal with the situation:

 "The Syrian citizens are mainly Muslims and speak Arabic. The refugees are marked by their own culture. Because our school is directly next to where they are staying, modest clothing should be adhered to, in order to avoid discrepancies. Revealing tops or blouses, short shorts or miniskirts could lead to misunderstandings."

The letter has not been met favourably by some parents, but a local politician, who did not want to be named, told Die Welt the move was "absolutely necessary".

"When Muslim teenage boys go to open air swimming pools, they are overwhelmed when they see girls in bikinis," he said.

"These boys, who come from a culture where for women it is frowned upon to show naked skin, follow girls and bother them without realizing. Obviously this is concerning for us," he continued.

The move by the school has caused a lot of discussion, and Thalhammer has received queries from all over the media, reports the Passauer Neue Presse.

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"There have never been uniform rules at this school and there never will be." He said.

"It is my duty to look after the children. Therefore I wanted to inform everyone about what is going on at school and what the gym is being used for."

"It was my responsibility to remind everyone that two cultures are coming together here," he continued.

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