German kids banned from drinking water in class during Ramadan

By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

Teachers at a comprehensive school in Germany have banned children from drinking water in their classrooms out of consideration for Muslim pupils fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

As reported by NIUS, fifth graders at the unnamed school located in the greater Frankfurt area, have informed their parents they were prohibited from drinking in class because a handful of students were fasting.

“At dinner, we always talk about how the day was. I asked my daughter what was new at school. She then told us that two teachers had forbidden the students from drinking in class because three of the 27 children were fasting,” a father of one of the pupils told the site.

It is understood that while the water ban is not an official school policy, it has been enforced by two separate teachers who have prevented students from accessing the water dispenser in the hall or having water bottles on their desks.

“You can always fill up your bottles in the hallway outside, there’s a water dispenser,” the father said, describing the usual practice during lessons.

“We found this announcement strange. On the one hand, the children in fifth grade are between 10 and 11 years old. Even for religious Muslims, the fasting requirement only applies from the age of 14. The fact that 24 children have to take three children into consideration when it comes to basic physical needs – that’s a strange intervention,” he added.

The school refused to comment on the story.

Muslims observing the fasting at Ramadan must abstain from consuming any food or drink during the hours of daylight, including water.

Frankfurt made headlines last week after it became the first German city to install festive lights to celebrate Ramadan in its city center.

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“By decorating during Ramadan, the city of Frankfurt is sending an important signal to Muslims and appreciates the people of Muslim faith in this city,” the governing German Green Party wrote in an application to the city council last year.

“They are lights of togetherness, against reservations, against discrimination, against anti-Muslim racism, and also against anti-Semitism,” said Frankfurt Mayor Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg, of the same party.

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