Tuesday, July 29, 2008

British Sikh Girl Wins Right to Wear Religious Bangle

Last fall, I blogged about the plight of Sarika Singh, who'd been expelled from her government-run school in Wales after breaking the school's "no jewelery" rule for refusing to take off her kara. The kara is a slim metal bangle that is worn at all times to remind Sikhs not to sin and is a central part of that religion. Sarika's bangle could not be seen under long-sleeved blouses and she had agreed to remove it for safety reasons during gym and woodworking classes.

A judge of the Welsh High Court has now ruled that the school's action constituted unlawful discrimination, and that the school had failed in its legal obligation to promote "equality of opportunity and good race relations, and to discourage discrimination."

I applaud the judge's sensible decision in this case, and hope that it paves the way for other students to win exemptions from dress codes for symbols of their faith (such as the case of Christian teen Lydia Playfoot and her purity ring).

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