UK girl says her school bans Christian symbol

A British teenager who was banned from wearing a so-called "purity ring" by her school appealed the decision at London's High Court on Friday.

UK girl says her school bans Christian symbol

A British teenager who was banned from wearing a so-called "purity ring" by her school appealed the decision at London's High Court on Friday.

Lydia Playfoot, 16, argues that the ban breaches the European Convention on Human Rights, adding that Muslim and Sikh pupils at the school have been allowed to wear headscarves and bracelets as part of their faith.

In a written statement to the court, she said that the ban "does not afford equal rights to Christians."

Her school, the Millais School in Horsham, south-east England, denies infringing her human rights, saying that the ring is not an integral part of the Christian faith and violates its uniform policy.



Headmaster Leon Nettley said in his own statement that the ring "is not a Christian symbol and is not required to be worn by any branch within Christianity."

Judgement in the case has been reserved to an unspecified later date.

The teenager's legal action is the latest instalment in a long-running debate in Britain over the right to wear religious clothing or symbols in public.

The father of a 12-year-old girl fought and lost at the same court earlier this year for the right of his daughter to wear the full-face Muslim veil or niqab at her school.

Playfoot is part of a US-based programme -- "Silver Ring Thing" -- in which young people wear a ring engraved with a Biblical verse to show their decision to abstain from sex before marriage.

"In the Bible, it says you should remain sexually pure, and I think this is a way I want to express my faith," Playfoot told BBC radio on Friday.

"At my school, Muslims are allowed to wear headscarves and other faiths can wear bangles and other types of jewellery and it feels like Christians are being discriminated against."

Playfoot's father, Phil, a pastor at Kings Church in Horsham, insisted his daughter was not living out his wishes or beliefs, adding that "it's something she wants to do for herself."

Phil Playfoot and his wife Heather are part of a group of volunteers that run the British branch of "Silver Ring Thing", which claims that 25,000 youngsters have committed to abstinence from sex before marriage.

Last Mod: 23 Haziran 2007, 02:38
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