Silver Ring Thing Student Loses Appeal genre: Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

Silver Ring Thing

Lydia Playfoot, the sixteen year old student in the UK who sought to wear her purity ring to school, has lost her appeal to the High Court. Thought Theater previously wrote about the case here.

The Court ruled that the schools dress code did not discriminate against Playfoot. The judge argued that the ring was not a fundamental element of religious faith; rather a piece of jewelry. He suggested that the prohibition against the ring was not intended to silence Playfoot's views on abstaining from sexual activities prior to marriage.

A 16-year-old girl was not discriminated against after she was banned from wearing a "purity ring" in school, the High Court has ruled.
Lydia Playfoot was told by Millais School in Horsham, West Sussex, to remove her ring - which symbolises chastity - or face expulsion.

The school had denied breaching her human rights and said it was "delighted" with the outcome.

Miss Playfoot said she was "very disappointed" by the decision.

She said the ruling would "mean that slowly, over time, people such as school governors, employers, political organisations and others will be allowed to stop Christians from publicly expressing and practising their faith".

Headmaster Leon Nettley said: "Whilst we are clearly delighted with the outcome of the court hearing today, our success is tinged with regret that proceedings have needed to progress to this level."

"We have always respected Lydia's right to hold and express her views and believe there were many ways in which it was possible for her to do this during her time with us," he said.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: "This is entirely the correct decision.

"The case was a manipulative attempt to impose a particular religious viewpoint on this school and, presumably, on other schools if this case had been won."

The judge ordered Miss Playfoot's father to pay £12,000 towards the school's legal costs.

Playfoot's case is a further demonstration of efforts by religious groups to challenge the prevailing laws that have long kept religion separate from the state. Further, it also highlights the attempt to characterize opponents of religious practices in the public sphere as anti-Christian thereby portraying religious groups as victims.

What proponents fail to realize is that if the state began to allow certain religious symbol and practices, they would be inundated with other requests and the school environment would soon become the battleground for a virtual religious war...which should clearly not be the primary focus of the education system.

Unfortunately, Playfoot's parents were likely behind the effort and they represent an increasingly vocal group of parents who seek to use their children as the vehicle by which they seek to contest existing laws in order to push their particular religious agendas.

Daniel DiRito | July 16, 2007 | 8:23 AM
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