'I felt disrespected:' Student asked to take off head wrap, school apologizes

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - East Lansing High School is apologizing to one of its students after a teacher asked her to remove her head wrap in the middle of class.

It happened Wednesday afternoon inside the high school.

English teacher Patrick Murray asked his student Carolyn Hall to remove her head wrap, a move in which she felt disrespected.

“He had asked me to take off my scarf and told me that it wasn't religious or cultural so I wasn't allowed to wear it in his classroom,” said Hall. “He asked me not to wear it again.”

It wasn't the first time Hall wore her scarf to class.

“I wish I had asked him why he felt that that wasn't okay to wear,” said Hall.

When some students found out about what happened Wednesday, they decided that something needed to be done. On Thursday they came to class with their head wraps on to show support.

“I'm from a different culture as well and I wouldn't want other people to say something about what I do in my culture and comment about it,” said Emily Delabat-Valera, a student supporting Hall Thursday.

The high school principal along with Murray apologized to Hall and her family.

Just last year the school dress code policy changed which now allows for students to express their culture.

“We are a very diverse school,” said Coby Fletcher, Principal of East Lansing High School. “We have students of many different nationalities, belief systems, identities, and we welcome those all here.”

“I think that adds a degree of richness to the experience that students have on our campus and we want to recognize that,” said Fletcher.

It may be an isolated incident but one the school says it's learning from.

“We are going to come away with it more determined than ever to do the right thing,” said Fletcher.

Fletcher tells News 10 Murray has been working and coaching at the school for a long time.

When asked if Murray will be disciplined, Fletcher said he won’t comment on personnel matters.