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News – Another uniform case

February 2008

Another uniform case

The UK High Court has been asked to rule on the case of a fourteen-year-old Sikh girl excluded from school for wearing a bangle. Sarika Singh has been excluded from Aberdare Girls’ School in Mid Glamorgan since last November.

The school dress code bans all jewellery and school managers believe their policy ensures equality among students. The school governors rejected Miss Singh’s request to wear the Kara bracelet, a traditional part of Sikh dress, after a ‘significant period of research’ examining the uniform policy and human rights legislation in detail.

However, Liberty, the campaign group, has challenged the decision of the school to exclude the student. It believes the school has breached race relations laws, human rights laws and a decision made by the House of Lords which allows Sikh children to wear items representing their faith, (including turbans) to school.

Liberty wants Miss Singh to be allowed to attend normal lessons at the school while wearing the Kara, and for the school to amend its uniform policy to comply with the Race Relations Act. The student was excluded from her school three times last term and was taught in isolation for two months before that step was taken.

The case is similar to previous instances where schoolchildren have been prohibited from wearing bracelets and rings to make a religious statement.

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