School board backs Swiss hand shaking tradition
An appeal by the parents of two Muslim students who refused to shake hands with their female teacher in Basel-Country has been dismissed by the school board.
The boys had told the school in Therwil that it was against their faith to touch a woman outside their family.
In response to the board's decision, state councillor and head of the Department of Education, Monika Gschwind, said that shaking hands of a teacher is a rule deeply rooted in Swiss society and culture.
The decision means any teacher at the school can now require student to shake their hands.
An appeal can still be filed against the decision to the Government of Basel-Country, but Monika Gschwind says if this happens she will make sure that the sanction is maintained.