Sikh teenager wins bangle discrimination fight

July 30th, 2008 - 9:35 pm ICT by ANI  

London/Wales (United Kingdom), July 30 (ANI): A Sikh teenager suspended from school for wearing a religious bangle won her High Court fight to overturn the decision on July 29. Sarika Singh, 14, from South Wales, said the plain steel bracelet was a symbol of her faith and should be exempt from her school’’s ban on wearing jewellery.
Senior Judge, Justice Stephen Silber accepted her argument and quashed the decision by the governing body of Aberdare Girls” High School, 20 miles north of Cardiff.
Sikhs wear the bangle or “Kara” as one of the five signs of their faith.
The girl’’s school said it did not allow any jewellery, apart from wristwatches and ear studs.
The Judge accepted her claim of discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, while rejecting the school’’s argument that the bangle could be seen as a “symbol of affluence”.
After the ruling Singh said: “I”m so happy to know no one else will ever go through what me and my family have gone through and no other pupil will be banned for wearing again.
She described herself as a “proud, Welsh, Punjabi, Sikh Girl.”
Sikh Federation spokesman Darbinderjit Singh said the ruling sends a message to schools, to organisations, to employers about how they treat people in the workplace. Sikhs are protected under the law and there must be respect. The case was the latest to test whether pupils can wear religious clothes or symbols in school.
In 2006, Shabina Begum lost her fight for girls to be allowed to wear a Muslim jiljab, or long gown, in class.
Last year, a Christian girl, Lydia Playfoot, lost a High Court bid to wear a silver chastity ring which she said represented her faith.
Singh will be allowed to return to the school next term when she will begin preparing for her GCSEs.
Civil rights group Liberty said it was a victory for common sense. (ANI)

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