Dress codes and uniform policies have been enforced in very different ways by various schools. Schools' rationale for banning symbolic clothing may include protecting students' health and safety, minimizing social class indicators between students, and creating cohesion and uniformity. However, schools have been faced with an increasing number of controversial cases when they have banned certain clothing representative of students' political, social, or religious identities. The inconsistent and ad hoc approach to addressing this issue is noticeable.

The recent ban of conspicuous religious symbols in French state schools has received international attention.

Justification for the ban was that there should be a strict separation between church and state (laïcité). Defenders point to a policy of neutrality inside the boundaries of the school. Unlike the United States, ...

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