Monday, December 05, 2005

School ban on girl wearing cross 'discriminatory'

UK: Telegraph, The Sun and The Mirror all carrying the same story with the Telegraph most complete and The Sun with a pic of the girl. More of being sensitive, unless you are a Christian.

Sam Morris, 16, was sent home from Sinfin Community School in Derby for breaking a school policy that bans jewellery. Last night her mother, Debra, said that Sikh children were allowed to wear a steel bracelet, known as a kara, for religious reasons and said her daughter had every right to express her faith. Education officials were unrepentant, however, and said that Sikhs are required by religion to wear items of jewellery, whereas Christians are not. Mrs Morris, 37, said: "Sam has worn this necklace for more than three years. No one has told her to take it off before, and she doesn't want to remove it. "She thinks it's very unfair when other people are allowed to wear religious symbols. It just ends up creating a divide between the pupils. "Everyone is being told that they should be living in unity, but this rule is not right. Sam has just as much right to celebrate her own religion." .....Howard Jones, the deputy head who sent Miss Morris home, said the one-day suspension was a "last resort" after a 30-minute conversation failed to persuade her to take it off. He said: "There was a long period of persuasion with her and she was given time. It was only at the end of that that I reluctantly had to exclude her for a day. I met her mother today and readmitted her daughter." He said the school policy was "even-handed and fair". He added: "As a Christian I don't have to wear a crucifix but Sikhs don't have that option and we have to be understanding. We live in a multi-faith society." Derby city council urged any school imposing such regulations to look carefully at individual circumstances before issuing a total ban. A spokesman said: "It is lawful to ban crucifixes while allowing other religious symbols, but whether it is desirable is another matter. "For some people wearing a crucifix could be a deeply religious gesture, which is why personal needs should be taken into account."
Mr. Jones was clearly not understanding as he took his views and shoved it on to a 16 year old girl because he wanted to be "sensitive." The city council has it right, though having it lawful to discriminate against Christians is wrong, the decision has to be done on an individual basis in light of such a stupid law.

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