A Quebec Court Just Ruled The Religious Symbols Ban Won't Apply To English Schools

"The English Montreal School Board is elated with the Quebec Superior Court’s decision."
Staff Writer
A Quebec Court Just Ruled The Religious Symbols Ban Won't Apply To English Schools

The Quebec Superior Court has ruled that the religious symbols ban under Bill 21 won't apply to English schools in Quebec, according to multiple reports. This means that teachers in English schools who wish to wear religious symbols won't be required to remove them.

The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) shared the news on Tuesday, saying it's "elated with the Quebec Superior Court’s decision to strike down key provisions of Bill 21."

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However, the CBC reports that the court upheld most of Bill 21, which forbids public-facing government employees from wearing religious symbols while performing their duties.

According to the EMSB, the Superior Court allowed English schools to be exempt under a provision in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which "guarantees minority language educational rights to English-speaking minorities in Quebec, including the exclusive right of management and control of minority language schools."

"A religious symbol worn by a teacher in no way affects their ability to provide quality education in a secular state, within a secular education system and in the classrooms of public schools administered by the EMSB," said EMSB Chair Joe Ortona.

A Judge Ruled English Schools Must Apply Bill 21 But They're Going To Keep Fighting It

The English Montreal School Board says it's concerned with hiring options during a teacher shortage.

A judge has ruled that Quebec's ban on religious symbols will apply to English schools as the case moves through the court system. Meanwhile, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) says it will continue to fight Bill 21.

Bill 21, also known as the "secularism law," bars all religious symbols from the public sector. This means public service workers, like teachers and police officers, can't wear hijabs, kippahs, crosses, turbans or any other religious symbols while at work.

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