Irene Waseem, 16, was expelled from the French-speaking school of College Charlemagne since the start of the school year, her family told La Presse newspaper.

Waseem’s family say she was prevented from attending any of her classes because the hijab is not part of the dress code. But Waseem says she wore a blue hijab so that it would match the colour of her school uniform.

The family has approached the Quebec Human Rights Commission and is awaiting a ruling. It is the first such case since February 1995 when the Commission declared that banning the hijab was a contravention of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

Quebec’s Education Ministry has been unable to take action because a private school is involved.

According to the United Muslim Student Association (UMSA), it is not the first time that College Charlemagne has enforced a strict dress code, as Jewish students are not permitted to wear kipas.