I’ve refrained from blogging on this until the case was heard, but I’m sure you’ve all already heard about Lydia Playfoot’s attempt to wear a little bit of silver to school. The school argued that the ring, purchased from the Silver Ring Thing (which her parents now help run), contravened their jewelry policy. Lydia is arguing that that ban on her ring contravenes her human right under section 9 of the relevant European Act to practice her religion.
The school is arguing that there’s a clear difference between a Muslim hijab or a Sikh Kara as they are mandatory in their respective faiths, but the lawyers for Lydia are arguing, with probably a good case, that not all muslim women wear hijab. Therefore, if the school is permitting muslim school girls to wear hijab, one variant but not essential form of muslim clothing (some muslim girls wear it to express their faith, some don’t), then it should also allow Lydia to wear a ring that personally expresses her faith.
The case has been heard and the judges have reserved judgment, which means that they’ll umm and aahh about it for a few weeks and then come back with a ruling. And I hope that they’ll rule in favour of Lydia. It should be perfectly acceptable for ANY pupil to wear an item of clothing or jewelry that expresses their belief, as long as it is not a health and safety issue OR offensive. Frankly, a loose hijab or kara is more dangerous then a ring with no stone and both of those should be allowed in schools.
What do you guys think?