The end-of-year celebrations at a Hamburg school ended on a sour note when a student's refusal to shake his teacher's hand provoked a backlash.

When the teacher at the Kurt-Tucholsky School extended her hand to congratulate a Muslim student on passing his Abitur exams (the German A-Level equivalent), the student declined, offering his wrist instead.

He explained to her privately that his actions weren't due to a lack of respect, but for religious reasons, local media reported.

However, when he went on to refuse to shake the female headteacher's hand, some members of staff felt he had crossed a line. Several teachers wanted the student to be sent out from the event, but headteacher Andrea Lüdtke refused.

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