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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

'Proud to be Welsh and a Sikh'. Schoolgirl wins court battle to wear religious bangle

She spent nine weeks in isolation in a classroom, alone except for a teaching assistant, working from notes which she was instructed to copy. The school canteen was barred to her and so were its corridors whenever they were being used by other pupils.

She was not allowed to join her friends in the playground and had to be accompanied by a teacher when she went to the toilet. All because her determination to wear a metal bangle was considered by her school to be an act of defiance.

Yesterday, a high court judge ruled that the exclusion of 14-year-old Sarika Watkins-Singh from Aberdare girls' school in south Wales because she continued to wear the bracelet - a symbol of her Sikh religion - was unlawful.

Mr Justice Stephen Silber concluded the school was guilty of indirect discrimination under race relations - Sikhs are a race - and equality laws. [Link]


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