- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Department of Justice has launched a lawsuit against the Philadelphia School District, claiming a school rule the limits how long employees’ beards can grow actually violates First Amendment religious freedoms.

The policy: No beard may grow longer than one-quarter inch, NBC News reported. That rule was implemented in October 2010.

Shortly after its enactment, school police officer Abu-Bakr said the rule prohibited him from exercising a core Islamic principle that bans men from cutting their beards.

He also said that he maintained his longer beard for the entire 27 years he’s worked for the district, NBC reported.


The Department of Justice stepped in and filed partly on the officer’s behalf, claiming the rule is discriminatory.