By Shelia M. Poole, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A Muslim woman has filed a discrimination complaint against the Georgia Department of Corrections, alleging the agency violated her religious beliefs by not allowing her to wear a hijab at work.
In the complaint filed with the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity, Jalanda Calhoun, a 25-year-old corrections officer at Rogers State Prison in Reidsville and a recent convert to Islam, says she told her supervisors earlier this year that she would start wearing the hijab, a scarf that would cover her hair, ears and neck, and asked to be able to take a 10-minute break to pray.
“Both my job and my religion are very important to me,” said Calhoun, who lives in Tattnall County, where the all-male prison is located. “I never thought I would have to choose between” the two.
She said she knows what “God has asked me to do and what the U.S. Constitution allows me to do. My hope is that as a government agency, the Georgia Department of Corrections will do the right thing.”