Headscarves: Sweden's daycare centres under fire

In Sweden, journalists working for Göteborgs-Posten newspaper contacted 40 daycare centres in the migrant districts of Malmö, Göteborg and Stockholm pretending to be parents of five-year-old children, and instructed the staff to make sure their daughters wore headscarves even if they didn't want to. Twenty-seven facilities said they would comply. Sweden's press reacts with outrage.

Open/close all quotes
Göteborgs-Posten (SE) /

Protect the freedom of children

Daycare facilities and schools must do more to protect children's freedom, Göteborgs-Posten urges:

“Many parents want to limit their children's possibilities even in their earliest childhood. ... All too often their demands are complied with. That's unacceptable. The role of daycare centres and schools is to fulfil a curriculum, not to ensure adherence to a religious doctrine. Children in problem districts must not be treated any worse by daycare staff than other youngsters. On the contrary: the interests of children whose freedom is under threat must be defended. Schools must be a sanctuary for all children, regardless of their family's religious and cultural background.”

Expressen (SE) /

Put parents in their place

Parents nowadays are demanding more and more special rights, and not just regarding religion, Expressen contends:

“Parents bear the brunt of the responsibility for bringing up their children. But that doesn't mean they can make school and kindergarten staff go along with all their wishes, either for traditional religious reasons or any semi-religious views on nutrition. ... The demands of parents are consuming time and energy that should go into the schools' and pre-schools' main task - giving lessons. ... Politicians and kindergarten directors must encourage staff to simply say NO when parents demand that the same rules that apply for their children at home apply at kindergarten too.”