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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Angry UK: Teen Girl Banned From School for Chastity Ring Heads to Court

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,286395,00.html

    Saturday, June 23, 2007

    A teenage girl who was banned by her school from wearing a "purity ring" is taking her case to the High Court.

    UK - Lydia Playfoot, 16, is a member of a Christian group called the Silver Ring Thing and one of a number of students at the Millais School in Horsham, West Sussex, who wears a silver ring engraved with a Biblical reference — "1 Thes 434," a reference to St. Paul's Letter to the Thessalonians — as a sign of their belief in abstinence from sex until marriage.

    She claims that her secondary school is breaching her human rights by preventing her from wearing the ring, while allowing Muslim and Sikh students to wear headscarfs and religious bangles.

    The school denies her claims, arguing that the purity ring is not an integral part of the Christian faith, and contravenes its uniform policy.

    Playfoot will argue that her right to express her religious beliefs under Article Nine of the Human Rights Act has been breached by the ban.

    "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 told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

    The Silver Ring Thing was set up in America in 1996 as a response to the escalating numbers of teen pregnancies in Yuma, Ariz. Teenagers pay a few dollars for a silver ring and a Bible, and pledge not to have sex before marriage. The movement arrived in Britain several years ago.

    The U.K. branch of the Silver Ring Thing is based at the Kings Church in Horsham where Playfoot's father, Phil, is pastor. Her mother, Heather, is the company secretary of its business arm. It runs a training program called "The Silver Ring Thing 434."

    Playfoot denied that wearing her silver chastity ring was a fad. "The idea is a bit American, but it's something I think is just really important. It's not just a fad sweeping across England, it is something unique, important to every single person," she told BBC Breakfast.

    "It says that I’m not going to have sex until I’m married and I’m going to stay sexually pure until I’m married. In the Bible it says you should remain sexually pure and I think this is a way I want to express my faith.

    "I think in the society we live in today with lots of pregnancies and STDs, something like this is quite important and should be taken hold of."

    In a statement placed before the court, she said: “We are involved with SRT (Silver Ring Thing) as a movement to promote and educate young people on the issues of sexual purity."

    Her father, Phil Playfoot, said that his daughter was pursuing the case, even though she was leaving the Millais school, because it embodied an important principle.

    Rings had been worn by Christians for many hundreds of years and Lydia wore hers as a symbol of her commitment to her faith, he said. Many thousands of young people had made the same commitment.

    He claimed that Christianity was under attack from the forces of secularism: "I think what is happening in our culture more generally is that what I would describe as secular fundamentalism is coming to the fore, which really wants to silence certain beliefs and Christian views in particular. I think an important principle is at stake here, I think Christians should be respected for their views and beliefs.

    "As other faiths are allowed to express their views through the wearing of headscarfs or the Kara bracelet of a Sikh, I think Lydia should be able to wear a ring as an expression of her faith," he told the BBC.

    Playfoot said that he had not put any pressure on his daughter to bring the court case. He claimed that his involvement with the Silver Ring Thing had happened after Lydia was banned from wearing the ring at school.

    "Lydia is a free thinker, she is a young person in her own right," he told the BBC. "She’s not living out our beliefs or wishes, it’s something she wants to do for herself."

    Stacey Wilkinson, administrator of the Silver Ring Thing U.K., said: "We are supporting Lydia but can't comment on the case itself.

    "The Silver Ring Thing is mainly in youth groups. We are trying to get into schools but it's a lot harder because of the Christian background that the course includes. We don't talk about contraception at all because it's about abstinence. In some cases we are going against what the government has said, but we want to give people a second option.

    "Some people take the course but don't make the pledge, but it's a good thing that they've heard the options. It gives them the option to say no."

    It is not the first time students have faced school bans over Christian symbols. Earlier this year Samantha Devine, a 13-year-old Catholic schoolgirl, was told not to wear a crucifix on a chain because it breached health and safety rules at The Robert Napier School, a non-denominational mixed school in Gillingham, Kent.

    The school said the only exception it would make to its uniform rule would be if the jewellery was an essential part of a particular religion, which they did not feel was the case for Miss Devine. She was free to wear a crucifix as a small lapel badge, but not on a chain, the school ruled.

    In 2005, 16-year-old Sam Morris was excluded from Sinfin Community School in Derby for a day after refusing to remove her cross and chain to comply with the school’s jewellery ban.

    In November Nadia Eweida lost her legal battle to wear a crucifix while working as an air stewardess, but publicity over the case forced British Airways to review its uniform policy and allow religious symbols to be worn, although only in the form of small lapel badges.

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  2. #2
    Sapper_132's Avatar
    Sapper_132 is offline Master Turd Cutter
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    I can see it now,

    English in up roar over religion, ship built and set sail to discover new land. Everyone on board says that there looking for a place to practice there religion.


    I'm glad I'm a Dark Jedi, and sit on the high council.
    Just because your sign off after you're shift is done, doesn't mean that it's over and put blinders on. You're a cop 24/7 wether you like it or not. If thats something you can't handle, you should find a new line of work!

  3. #3
    Trojan 42's Avatar
    Trojan 42 is offline Retired Ninja
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    Seems fair to me. It's jewellery and so banned. It has no official religious connection, so she should just grow up and get on with it.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



    I've Talked the Talk and I've Walked the Walk, now I Sit the Sit!

    It's not until you look at an Ant through a magnifying glass on a sunny day, that you realise just how often they burst into flames for no reason!

  4. #4
    BEB
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    It's not a religious tenet. Maybe years from now that ring will be recognized as something more; right now it is a club token.

  5. #5
    Standard Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan 42 View Post
    Seems fair to me. It's jewellery and so banned. It has no official religious connection, so she should just grow up and get on with it.
    I was going to say that. The main point of their arguement is flawed the ring is not a religious symbol like some of the things they try to compare it to.

    Also just because someone else seemingly breaks the rules does it make it ok for everyone else to do so ?

  6. #6
    Twan007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapper_132 View Post
    I can see it now,

    English in up roar over religion, ship built and set sail to discover new land. Everyone on board says that there looking for a place to practice there religion.


    I'm glad I'm a Dark Jedi, and sit on the high council.

    wait wait... i think i heard a story about that once...

    -=Twan007


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  7. #7
    Rhino's Avatar
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    You mean in the UK they can argue stuff like that? I thought once the Queen said it was done, it was done.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  8. #8
    Ianl6's Avatar
    Ianl6 is offline Dreamboy First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhino View Post
    You mean in the UK they can argue stuff like that? I thought once the Queen said it was done, it was done.
    The queen of England actually is really only a token here she is more for the tourist industry as she has none or very little to say how the country is run.The politicians here seem to say what goes and when it goes,the monarchy is a thing of the past.

    Of course i must say that this is just my personal opinion.
    Public conscience message board
    post on a board with a heart.

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  9. #9
    Trojan 42's Avatar
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    However no Act of Parliament can become Law until signed by Her Majesty.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



    I've Talked the Talk and I've Walked the Walk, now I Sit the Sit!

    It's not until you look at an Ant through a magnifying glass on a sunny day, that you realise just how often they burst into flames for no reason!

  10. #10
    Standard Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan 42 View Post
    However no Act of Parliament can become Law until signed by Her Majesty.
    She signs everything, just look at the Hunting act

 

 

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