WATCH | Two Muslim students at a Virginia high school had to carry permission slips to wear hijabs
Two Muslim teens said a Virginia high school required them to carry signed notes from their mothers, giving them permission to wear a hijab.
A hijab is a traditional head covering Muslim women wear in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Hajah Bah and Fatmata Mansaray, who are both seniors at Freedom High School in Woodbridge, Virginia, said the school's name is ironic because their freedoms have been infringed upon.
Bah said on Thursday a staffer at the school asked for her note, but she didn't have it. That's when Bah said the staffer told her she could either remove her hijab or go home.
"I was like, ‘I refuse. I’m not taking it off because of my religion,'" Bah told ABC affiliate WJLA.
Mansaray said she recalls watching the incident in total disbelief.
Mike Mulgrew, the associate superintendent for Prince William County Public Schools, said he has apologized to Bah's family on behalf of the school system.
"I think they had a misinterpretation," Mulgrew told WJLA. "We used to give passes to assist students so they could carry out their prayers. Somehow that message got lost. We’re gonna fix that message and we’re gonna move on.”
Prince William County schools also issued an official statement saying the school system is "committed to using this incident as an opportunity to ensure that respect for diversity, religious freedom and self-expression are practiced and evident every day and at every school."
Our affiliate WJLA contributed to this report.