Family Files Complaint Over Hijab Ban At Livermore Amusement Park
LIVERMORE (KPIX 5) – A dispute between a Livermore go-kart park and a family that says they were singled out because of their religious headwear.
Sighting safety concerns, the operators of Boomers family entertainment center did no allow Noorah Abdo wear her hijab while riding go-karts at Boomers family entertainment center during a visit last year. The family and the park’s parent company had been in talks to revise the policy since, but those stalled, and now the Abdos have filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
To explain the ban at the time, the manager of Boomers handed them a copy of a sternly-worded policy, which said no Hijabs, turbans, yarmulkes, hats, caps or head wraps of any kind because they can get tangled and cause severe head or neck injuries and even death.
“If fashion, religious expression or hair style is more important to you than safety, that’s fine, you can do what you want with your life. You just can’t do it at or our park,” read the letter.
During a July 28th, three Sikh boys and an adult trying to ride the go-karts claim an employees said “that thing on your heads is not allowed.”
“I think they should think of a better alternative so people who wear hijabs or other head coverings for religious purposes have another alternative so they can ride on the go-karts,” said Noorah Abdo, who was 13 at the time of the incident.
The family says a total ban on headscarfs is unnecessary, regardless of the safety concerns. Their attorney claims children with long hair and loose-fitting clothing were allowed to operate the karts.
The parent company responded to the development by saying, “safety is our number one priority. This is not a matter of religion or race. This is a matter of safety.”