A Sydney school has adopted a policy allowing Muslim schoolboys to refuse to shake hands with women.
At a recent awards ceremony at Hurstville Boys Campus of Georges River College, female presenters were told by one of the two principals that some students would not shake their hands because of their Muslim faith, The Australian reported.
The boys were instead permitted to place a hand across their chest to show they would not be taking the hand of the women, many of them well-known figures from the local community.
A spokesman from the NSW Department of Education said this was an “agreed protocol” developed after extensive consultation with staff, parents and boys at the small, diverse public school of 354 students from year 7-10.
“At the school’s 2016 presentation day, the principal explained to invited guests making awards that some Muslim students may place their hand across their chest instead of shaking hands,” the spokesman said.