A teenage girl, banned from wearing a chastity ring in class, took her case to Britain's High Court on Friday, arguing that her school had violated her religious freedom, reported The Associated Press.
Lydia Playfoot, 16, a pupil at the Millais School in Horsham, wears a ring as a sign of her commitment to abstinence until marriage. The ring is a thin silver band, engraved with New Testament verses encouraging Christians to be chaste.
The school prohibits all jewelry except for ear studs, but it does permit Sikhs to wear steel bracelets. The school said it would not make an exception for chastity rings because they do not form an integral part of the Christian faith.
According to the AP, Playfoot’s lawyer, Paul Diamond, argued that secular authorities and institutions “cannot be arbiters of religious faith.”
Speaking before the hearing, the girl’s father, Philip, said the family's three-year fight highlights the growing secularization of British society and the sidelining of Christian views and values.
Lydia’s ring was inspired by an American abstinence-education program, called "The Silver Ring Thing." The program was launched in 1996 and received more than $1 million from the U.S. government over 10 years.