Dutch protestant school may reject student with TV and internet

Utrecht, Netherlands - A strictly Protestant school in the central Netherlands may reject a 16-year-old potential student because his family has a television and an internet connection and his sister is allowed to wear trousers, a judge here ruled.

The court in Utrecht said that the school could reasonably reject the boy to protect the religious identity of the school because his family's views differed too much from the school statutes.

The family has television and an open internet connection at home, which the school rejects as "blasphemous".

It also allows the boy's sister to wear trousers, while the school insists that "the biblical distinction between men and women be expressed through clothing, hairstyle and other personal manifestations".

Finally the parents also said they respected, but did not share, the school's stance rejecting parent and student participation in the running of the institution.

Some six percent of the Dutch population are members of the Dutch Reformed church, a strict form of Protestantism. Within the church there is a smaller orthodox group also known as the "black stockings church" which largely rejects modern life.