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06-19-06, 04:03 PM #1FishTail Guest
Wearing 'purity rings' is banned at girls' school
A school has banned Christian pupils from wearing rings that symbolise the teenagers' belief in chastity until marriage.
Youngsters have been ordered to remove the 'purity rings' because they contravene the school's uniform policy.
Millais School, an all-girls' comprehensive in West Sussex, has a strict 'no jewellery' rule, allowing only small stud earrings.
But the girls' families argue that that the rings - simple bands of silver given to youngsters who complete an evangelical church course preaching abstinence - hold genuine religious significance.
Parents also point out that the school allows Muslim and Sikh pupils to wear headscarves or kara bracelets as a means of religious expression.
Heather and Philip Playfoot have been in dispute with the school in Horsham over the issue for two years.
Their 15-year-old daughter Lydia began wearing her ring to the school in June 2004.
The Playfoots claim Lydia and up to a dozen pupils have been punished for breaking the rules.
Lydia recently stopped wearing the ring but feels 'betrayed' by the school.
She said: "My friends and I have had detentions and been taught in isolation for wearing the ring.
"I feel like I've been treated the same as someone who is caught bringing cannabis into school.
"My ring is a symbol of my religious faith. I think, as a Christian, it says we should keep ourselves pure from sexual sinfulness and wearing the ring is a good way of making a stand.
"I stopped wearing the ring because it was being made really difficult for me.
"I am sitting GCSE modules this year and I missed loads of drama lessons because the teachers would teach us in isolation."
Her parents Heather, 47, a housewife and Phil, 49, a minister in a nondenominational church, are considering taking legal action.
Mrs Playfoot said: "The ring is a reminder to them of the promise they have made, much the same as a wedding ring is an outward sign of an inward promise.
"There are Muslim girls at the school who are allowed to wear the headcovering, although that isn't part of the school uniform, and Sikh girls who are allowed to wear the bangle, although that isn't part of the uniform.
"It's a discriminatory policy. We don't want her education to be disrupted because of it but we do want her to feel free to wear something that is very significant."
Lydia's ring comes from Silver Ring Thing, an evangelical American Christian movement.
It has encouraged a growing number of teenagers to make a 'pledge of chastity'.
The silver ring demonstrates commitment to this pledge.
The movement was founded by father-of-three Denny Pattyn in Yuma, Arizona, in 1995.
He launched it after discovering Yuma had the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Arizona.
The ring is imprinted with a Bible verse. The quote from 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-4 says: "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornifi-cation: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour."
Silver Ring Thing launched in Britain in 2004, promoting abstinence before marriage. When he brought his campaign in this country, Mr Pattyn said: "Silver Ring Thing evenings are cool and fun and full of life."
He added: "The ring is important. It's a visible sign of the pledge and a constant reminder."
Teenagers were invited to make a pledge and buy a ring for £10.
More than 20,000 members have signed up at roadshows in the U.S. and Britain.
Tory MP Andrew Selous, chair of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, raised the wearing of purity rings with Schools Minister Jim Knight in the Commons last week.
In a written parliamentary answer, Mr Knight said that while school governors had freedom to set uniform rules, government guidance states that they 'should have regard to their responsibilities under equalities legislation' and be 'sensitive to pupils' cultural and religious needs'.
Leon Nettley, headmaster of Millais, said in a statement that the school's own sex education programme already stressed the illegality of under-age sex and encouraged pupils to discuss the issues.
He added: "In relation to the issue of wearing a purity ring, the school is not convinced that pupils' rights have been interfered with by the application of the school's uniform policy.
"The school has a clearly published uniform policy and sets high standards in this respect."
06-19-06, 04:13 PM #2
It's a damn ring, let them wear it. They act as if it's a condom necklace. People these days.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!
06-19-06, 04:38 PM #3
Hell, I'd tell my daughter(if I had one), that if she wants to make a stand, she and her friends should start wearing the Muslim headcovering, and the Sikh bangle, along with the ring. If they are going to nitpick one, they should be fair to all and nitpick everything "not to uniform".
It's worth suing, but suing costs money, so don't look at me.Here Speeder, Speeder, Speeder
"Oderint dum metuant" - Caligula
"How come you only call me when someone's dead?"
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