German School Bans Camouflage Clothing to ‘Respect’ Refugees

BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 03: Residents of a shelter for refugees and migrants in Marienfelde district relax in the courtyard of the shelter, which was previously an administrative building for a supermarket chain, on May 3, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The shelter currently houses approximately 450 people, the majority of …
Sean Gallup/Getty

A German secondary school in the city of Lage has banned students from wearing clothing with camouflage patterns, claiming it could harm asylum seeker children traumatised by war.

Many parents of students who attend the school are reportedly deeply critical of the move to ban items of clothing with camouflage patterns, according to a report from German news website TAG 24.

Deputy headmistress of the school Ute Kuhlmann attempted to explain the rationale for the policy to a local radio station, claiming that the school did not want to trigger potentially traumatic memories for asylum seekers and refugees who may have fled from war-torn areas.

According to TAG 24, many of the parents still questioned the move with some even pointing out that not only do their children wear such patterns but often the asylum seeker and refugee children do as well. The parents have called for a vote on the matter before the school formalises the regulations that would make the ban official.

So far, the local government has refused to intervene on the matter, although one child has already been banned from a school trip because she wore trousers with a camouflage pattern on them.

Children of migration-background, some of which have come to Germany as asylum seekers and refugees, are becoming an increasing part of the German school population in certain cities across the country.

In the city of Duisburg, it has been reported that only 8.2 per cent of the children in elementary schools from migrant backgrounds are able to speak fluent German, with 16.4 per cent in the school system not being able to speak any German at all.

Another study, released by the Initiative New Social Market Economy (INSM) in 2018, revealed that German school testing standards had seen a decline due to a lack of integration and as a consequence, a trend of migrant-background students dropping out of school.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.