French school bans Muslim girl's long black skirt in twist of law ensuring secularism

A 15-year-old French Muslim girl has missed school for two days this month in a dispute over her long black skirt, seen as going against France's law guaranteeing secularism.

A popular Twitter hashtag #jeportemajupecommejeveux (I wear my skirt as I like) popped up on Wednesday after the dispute was made public in the girl's local newspaper in Charleville-Mezieres, in northeast France.

The region's Academic Services said it backed the decision, stressing that the student was not excluded from school but was asked to change her clothes. School officials want a dialogue with the family.

Academic Services said the student insisted on the religious symbolism of her long skirt — contravening the 2004 law banning headscarves and other "ostentatious" religious symbols.