Philly schools settles Justice suit over beards

The Philadelphia School District has settled a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice accusing the schools of discriminating against an employee who said he couldn’t trim his beard for religious reasons.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports the lawsuit filed in March was settled Monday.

The lawsuit was prompted by an October 2010 policy preventing school police and security officers from having beards more than a quarter of an inch long. The Justice Department says the policy discriminated against a Muslim officer and others by failing to accommodate their religious beliefs.

An attorney for the district says it can keep the beard-trimming requirement, but must come up with a more detailed policy for how officers can request a religious accommodation. The district had previously settled a complaint by the guard confidentially.

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