Melbourne school found guilty of discrimination for refusing boy's enrolment because he wore turban

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AAP

A Melbourne Christian school was wrong to refuse the enrolment of a five-year- old Sikh boy because he wears a turban, a tribunal has found.

Source: 1 NEWS

Sagardeep Singh Arora and his wife Anureet said Melton Christian College breached the Equal Opportunity Act act by not allowing their son Sidhak to wear a patka, or children's turban, when they tried to enrol him in 2016.

On Tuesday the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled in the parents' favour, finding the school had discriminated against Sidhak.

"Whilst MCC is a Christian school, it has an open enrolment policy which means that it accepts enrolments of students from other faiths," VCAT member Julie Grainger found.

"A little over 50 per cent of the school community does not identify explicitly as Christian and many families at the school have no religious beliefs.

"It is not reasonable to accept enrolment applications from students from non- Christian faiths only on the condition that they do not look like they practice a non-Christian religion."

The school could have amended its uniform policy to allow Sidhak to wear a turban in school colours, the VCAT finding added.

Ms Grainger ordered the parents and the school to sit down and negotiate an agreement on what orders can be made to resolve the situation.

The Aroras previously said they still wanted Sidhak to attend the school, as it is where his cousins study, and it is close to their home.

The school has been contacted for comment.

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