But anyway, what's past is past. Let me explain what's going on (for those of you just hearing.) The Oregon senate has passed a bill which prohibits teachers in public schools from wearing religious clothing. That can mean a Sikh's turban (which is why they are upset, naturally), but could also mean a hijab, and probably many other things. Here's the text of the bill (see Section 4):
No teacher in any public school shall wear any religious dress while engaged in the performance of duties as a teacher. A school district, education service district or public charter school does not commit an unlawful employment practice under ORS chapter 659A by reason of prohibiting a teacher from wearing religious dress while engaged in the performance of duties as a teacher.Now, before we go up in arms, make sure you read the rest of it. The bill actually includes several provisions for religious observation, including attire, and taking time off for holidays, even time for daily prayers. So the bill is supposed to protect religious freedoms of employees. That's good. But why not teachers? That's the problem with the bill, that the religious freedoms of public school teachers are being denied here, and specifically the freedom of dress.
In a way, this is even keeping certain people out of a particular job, based on their religion. Muslims, Sikhs, even some Jews, would not be able to take jobs as public school teachers in Oregon at all because of this, which opens up another problem.
The bill now needs to be signed or vetoed by Oregon's governor. If you want to send him a letter voicing your concern over the bill, (especially if you actually live in Oregon, or nearby), you can send one via CAIR.