More than a dozen non-Muslim girls at an Illinois high school agreed to wear a traditional Islamic head scarf on Wednesday as part of “Walk a Mile in Her Hijab.”

The event, organized by the school’s Muslim Student Association, featured 17 non-Muslims wearing the garment and speaking with other students about the meaning of the hijab.

“I think it is a difficult time to be a Muslim student in our high school, in our community and in America,” Vernon Hills High School principal Jon Guillaume told the Daily Herald. “I think this is an opportunity for our kids to embrace the Muslim community within the school. For other kids outside of this organization, to understand what it’s like for these girls to walk through our halls in this garment in a way that stands out from other kids. So, I’m proud of them.”

“I think this is an opportunity for our kids to embrace the Muslim community within the school."

- Jon Guillaume, Vernon Hills High School principal

One participant told the Herald she wanted to wear the garb because her uncle is a Muslim and she hoped to “bring more acceptance” to Islamic beliefs.

“You can’t really understand or judge a person and their beliefs until you understand why they do it and what it’s like for them to do what they’re doing,” said senior Yasmeen Abdallah, the president of the MSA.

The event was planned in May and was not a response to Islamic terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 or in San Bernardino on Dec. 2, MSA organizers told the Herald.