LONDON – A teenager whose teachers had stopped her wearing a “purity ring” at school to symbolize her commitment to virginity has lost a High Court fight against the ban.
Lydia Playfoot, 16, says her silver ring is an expression of her faith and had argued in court that it should be exempt from school regulations banning the wearing of jewelry.
“I am very disappointed by the decision this morning by the High Court not to allow me to wear my purity ring to school as an expression of my Christian faith not to have sex outside marriage,” Playfoot said in a statement Monday.
“I believe that the judge’s decision will mean that slowly, over time, people such as school governors, employers, political organizations and others will be allowed to stop Christians from publicly expressing and practicing their faith.”
Series of disputes
Playfoot’s legal challenge was the latest in a series of disputes in British schools in recent years over the right of pupils to wear religious symbols or clothing, such as crucifixes and veils.
Last year, the Law Lords rejected Shabina Begum’s appeal for permission to wear a Muslim gown at her school in Luton. That case echoed a debate in France over the banning of Muslim headscarves in state schools.
Playfoot’s parents are key members of the British arm of the American chastity campaign group the Silver Ring Thing, a religious group which urges abstinence among young people.
Those who sign up wear a ring on the third finger of the left hand. It is inscribed with “Thess. 4:3-4,” a reference to a Biblical passage from Thessalonians which reads: “God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin.”
What are your opinions was the courts decision the right one?