Education Minister Dmitry Livanov defended schoolgirls wearing a traditional Muslim headscarf, the hijab, in the Stavropol region by saying Wednesday that they hadn't violated any school regulations, Interfax reported.

"To my knowledge, girls at that specific school in the Stavropol region … have been wearing headscarfs since Sep. 1. In no way did it violate either school regulations or common practice," Livanov said at a State Duma meeting during discussions on the first reading of a bill on education, according to Interfax.

A dispute over whether children could wear hijabs to public schools sparked controversy in the Stavropol region earlier this month after some schoolgirls were prevented from attending classes, drawing criticism from local Muslim clerics.

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