Sentence of Administrative Court – Muslim girl cannot be dismissed from swimming lessons

September 28


The Administrative Court of the Federal State of Hessen has rejected a lawsuit by a Muslim family, who did not send their twelve-year-old daughter to the school swimming lessons. The family’s action has been rejected also by the Administrative Court of the city of Kassel. The girl has argued that swimming with boys would be forbidden by her religion. She would like to participate at swimming class, but only in case the class would be attended by properly covered girls, and no boys.

The court had to find a balance between different rights. Although the freedom of religion would be protected as it would be her right to avoid seeing or touching boys, this freedom would restrict the constitutional goal to ensure equal education.

As a result, the Court decided for rejection, while recommending the girl to wear an Islamic swimming dress, the Burkini.


The position of tribunals in this matter is not uniform. Recently, the Administrative court of the City State of Bremen had permitted girls to be released from sport classes with the beginning of adolescence.


So far, there have been no reactions by Islamic organizations such as the Islamic Religion Community of the States of Hesse or the Turkish-Islamic Union of the State of Hessen.

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