A Melbourne dad is fighting Melton Christian College for the right to let his 5-year old boy attend their school, whilst wearing his Sikh patka, a turban worn by children, as part of the school uniform.
Sagardeep Singh Arora says he wants his child Sidhak to attend this particular school because of its good reputation.
The traditional Sikh father is arguing his case at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), saying the Melton school is breaching the Equal Opportunity Act and is discriminating against his son, by not allowing him to wear the head wear – an essential part of his religious practice.
Mr Singh Arora says the school refused enrollment if his boy wore the traditional head wear or grew his hair long.
Sidhak was due to start prep at the Christian College, in Melbourne's north-west, this year.
"The police and the army allow Sikhs to wear the turban ... why not in the classroom?" Mr Arora told The Age newspaper.
It's a matter that is being watched very closed by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, who is viewing this as a test case for Section 42 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010:
Exception—standards of dress and behaviour
(1) An educational authority may set and enforce reasonable standards of dress, appearance and behaviour for students.
(2) In relation to a school, without limiting the generality of what constitutes a reasonable standard of dress, appearance or behaviour, a standard must be taken to be reasonable if the educational authority administering the school has taken into account the views of the school community in setting the standard.
The school is arguing, it is allowed to set and enforce "reasonable" standards of dress for students.
Principal David Gleeson told The Age, he is proud of the "neutrality" of the uniform, and said the case was similar to a situation where a Year 11 student was not allowed to wear a hat from sportswear brand New Balance.
The hearing will continue on Wednesday.