Philly schools accused of religious beard bias

Save Story
Leer en Español

Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Department of Justice has accused the Philadelphia school district in a federal lawsuit of discriminating against an employee who said he couldn't trim his beard for religious reasons.

The complaint was filed Wednesday in Pennsylvania. It alleges the district in 2010 instituted a grooming policy preventing school police officers from having beards longer than a quarter of an inch long and discriminated against Siddiq Abu-Bakr by failing to accommodate his religious beliefs.

The lawsuit says the longtime school police officer is a member of the Islamic faith, which requires him not to cut his beard. It says the school district failed to consider his request for reasonable accommodation and he was reprimanded.

The government wants monetary damages for him and new grooming policies from the district.

A district spokesman hasn't returned a cellphone message seeking comment.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent Features stories

The Associated Press


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast