.- A Catholic schoolgirl in England has been banned from wearing a crucifix in class, the school said the girl is prohibited from wearing the symbol for health and safety reasons.
Samantha Devine, a 13-year-old student at the nondenominational Robert Napier School in Gillingham, Kent, said she would continue wearing her necklace and silver crucifix, even if it meant being expelled.
According to The Telegraph, Paul Jackson, the deputy head at the secondary school, says that the school has a policy that no jewelry is to be worn by students in grades 7 to 10.
''The only exception to our uniform rule we would consider making is if the jewelry were an essential requirement of a particular religion," he reportedly said.
"I am proud of my religion and it is my right to wear a cross around my neck," Devine said. "I can't understand why the school thinks a tiny crucifix on a thin silver necklace is a health and safety hazard.
"Other religions are allowed to show their beliefs by wearing bracelets or turbans, so why can I not wear a cross to show my devotion to God?
The girl was reportedly told that she could wear a cross as a lapel badge.
Her father dismissed the request from the school as political correctness gone mad, reported Christian Today.
The human rights group Liberty has questioned whether there were any real health and safety implications over pupils wearing items of religious jewelry during standard lessons.
This incident comes not long after British Airways check-in worker Nadia Eweida took the airline to court to win the right to wear her chain and crucifix to work.
British Airways withdrew its controversial ban on workers wearing a visible cross, following widespread condemnation and international criticism.