Update: Purity ring is out

Filed under: Teens, In The News, Media, Day Care & Education

You may recall the case of sixteen-year-old Lydia Playfoot who went to court in England to convince her school to allow her to wear a "Purity Ring," despite a school ban on jewelry. Normally, I would side with the school and say the rule is no jewelry, so she can't wear it. The problem is, the school allowed other students to wear symbols of their religious faith, including bracelets.

The school argued that the ring is not an integral part of the Christian religion and that it is "just one of several methods of publicising a specific view within the Christian faith". That makes sense to me -- it is not a requirement of being a Christian. Lydia's lawyer, however, made a very strong case, saying that school authorities "lack capacity to rule on the correct manifestation of religious belief. . . Secular authorities and institutions cannot be arbiters of religious faith." The high court, however, did not see it that way and sided with the school.

As for Lydia, she believes the decision "will 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". I agree that the school should not be in a position to decide how a student can or should practice their religion; if they are going to outlaw jewelry, it should be all jewelry. Otherwise, school officials cannot pick and choose which symbols they think are religious enough; they have to allow everything and anything.

While I don't share her beliefs, I do applaud her willingness to stand up for what she believes in -- something rather uncommon at her age. She has not yet decided whether or not to appeal the decision.
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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.
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