Islam

Swedish school's gender-segregated bus 'despicable,' prime minister says

The Swedish prime minister called a Muslim school "despicable" after a video revealed some of its students were separated by gender while riding the school bus. 

The students, between ages 6 and 10, went to Al-Azhar Primary School in the neighborhood of Vallingby, just northwest of Stockholm, Sweden's news site The Local reported

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Swedish broadcaster TV4 released a video of some of its students getting on a school bus, with the boys entering the front of the vehicle and the girls getting on in the back. 

"I think this is despicable. This doesn't belong in Sweden," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Tuesday. "We take the bus together here, regardless if you're a girl or a boy, woman or a man."

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The school's vice principal said he and the principal don't support a gender-separated school bus.

"This is not something that has been known or sanctioned by school management," Vice Principal Roger Lindquist said to TT News Agency in Sweden, adding that the school will investigate the incident.

The school identifies itself as having a "Muslim profile," but is open to children of all backgrounds, The Local reported. 

About 80 percent of the staff are non-Muslim, according to the news agency. 

This wasn't the first time the school was accused of separating students based on gender. Reports surfaced last August of teachers agreeing to give gender-segregated sports lessons. The school argued parents were more inclined to let their children attend the lessons if boys and girls were separated.