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Melona Clark, Hampton University Student, Carries Papers To Prove She Can Wear Hijab

10/07/2013 03:04 pm ET | Updated Oct 09, 2013
WTKR-TV

She's not a tourist visiting a foreign country, but Melona Clark carries her papers with her at all times -- to prove she has permission to wear a hijab.

Clark, a student at Hampton University in Virginia, was forced by the school to obtain a letter from her chaplain and a letter from her mosque before the university would allow her to wear her headscarf on campus, local news outlet WTKR-TV reported on Friday.

“If I am ever stopped and asked who I am ... I want to have all the proof that I can that I am a student here," she told the station when asked about why she carries the official papers with her everywhere she goes. "I don’t want to have to go through anything like I went through in the first place."

A historically black university in southeastern Virginia, Hampton specifies in its dress code that students "seeking approval to wear headgear as an expression of religious or cultural dress" need to make a written request through the chaplain, who then has to ask the student affairs vice president "for final approval."

The dress code does not mention students also needing a letter from their mosque.

Because Hampton is a private school, it is free to impose stricter dress codes than a public university would be allowed to.

A spokesperson for the university did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Hat tip, MSN)

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