UK: Sikh teenager wins religious bangle discrimination case

Sikh teenager wins religious bangle case

A Sikh teenager excluded from school for breaking a “no jewellery” rule by refusing to remove a wrist bangle which is central to her faith was a victim of unlawful discrimination, a judge ruled today.

As a result of the judgment in the High Court, Sarika Watkins-Singh, 14, will be returning to Aberdare Girls’ School in South Wales in September – wearing the Kara, a slim steel bracelet.

Her lawyers had told Mr Justice Silber that the Kara was as important to her as it was to England spin bowler Monty Panesar, who has been pictured wearing the bangle.

The Five K’s of Sikhism

Sarika, of mixed Welsh and Punjabi origin, of Cwmbach, near Aberdare, was at first taught in isolation and eventually excluded for refusing to take off the bangle in defiance of the school’s policy, which prohibits the wearing of any jewellery other than a wrist watch and plain ear studs.

Today, the judge declared that the school was guilty of indirect discrimination under race relations and equality laws.

- Source: Sikh teenager wins religious bangle case, PA, via the Independent, UK, July 29, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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