A 16-year-old schoolgirl has asked High Court judges to uphold her right to wear a ring symbolising her chastity.
According to The Independent, Lydia Playfoot, who has taken a vow of sexual abstinence, accuses her school in West Sussex of discriminating against Christians after the headmaster introduced a ban on "purity rings".
AdvertisementLydia argued that she is being treated differently to Sikh and Muslim pupils who she says can wear bangles and head scarves in class.
The Millais School in Horsham said Lydia's band - a symbol of the Silver Ring Thing movement launched in the United States in 1996 - broke uniform rules about the wearing of jewellery and threatened to expel her unless she removed it.
In a written statement submitted to Deputy Judge Michael Supperstone QC, Lydia, whose case is being backed by the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, said some pupils at her school had become pregnant and given birth. Her barrister, Paul Diamond, told the court that the secular school authorities had no right to set themselves up as arbiters of faith and "cannot rule on religious truth".
He asked Judge Supperstone to declare that the school had acted outside its powers when it banned the wearing of the purity ring, arguing that the school authorities were violating Lydia's right to "freedom of thought, conscience and religion" under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case continues.