A proposed vote on whether to ban items worn on the head in schools has been declared unconstitutional in one Swiss canton. Politicians in canton Valais have vetoed a thinly veiled attempt to ban religious headwear, such as hijabs, among pupils.

The decision on Friday triggered a heated backlash from the local faction of the conservative right People's Party, which had attracted more than 4,000 backers for its proposal in 2016. This amount of backing automatically triggers a vote, according to Swiss law. However, the cantonal parliament on Friday declared that vote unconstitutional.

After the parliament's decision, People's Party representatives stormed out of the cantonal parliament building in southwest Switzerland, threatening to take the matter to the federal courts.

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