CoE school bans girl from wearing crucifix - but allows Sikh pupils to wear bangles
By Daily Mail Reporter
Daily Mail News
01 July 2009
A school told a child to remove a Christian cross she was wearing even though it lets Sikh children wear bangles as part of their religion.
Lauren Grimshaw-Brown was told to take off a necklace with a cross on it because of health and safety fears.
But the eight-year-old's furious mother has accused the school of double standards because they allow children following other faiths to wear jewellery on religious grounds.
The mother-of-two says Lauren and brother Callan, five, have always
worn crosses at St Peter's CE School in Chorley, Lancashire.
'We're a Christian family and my children wear the necklaces underneath their tops,' she said.
'On Thursday Lauren was told by a teacher to take it off because apparently they're not allowed to wear jewellery.
'I could understand it if it was a fashion accessory or a High School Musical necklace, but it's part of our faith.'
Mrs Grimshaw-Brown complained directly to the headteacher, Helen Wright, who referred the matter to the school's chairman of governors, Father Atherton. He upheld the ban.
Mrs Grimshaw-Brown added: 'I received a letter in my child's reading folder. It said that if she had been a Sikh child she would be allowed to wear bangles because it's part of their religion.
'I've got absolutely no problem with any other religion wearing bangles or another item of jewellery, but why can't my daughter wear a necklace with a cross? It's a church-led school.
'The necklace is designed to come apart if it snags. The school
has suggested she wear a brooch but surely that's more dangerous because of
'Lauren was really upset by this and I feel very let down.'
The letter to Mrs Grimshaw-Brown said: 'The prospectus makes clear that jewellery may not be worn except for earrings and watches.
'This is because there have been incidents in schools where hooped earrings, bracelets and necklaces have caused injuries to children when caught in outdoor play or physical activity.
'The prospectus makes it clear that school will allow jewellery where it is a necessary part of the religious faith of the child, i.e. Sikh families must wear bangles as one of the "five Ks", the religious rules for dress.'
Mrs Wright denied there was any discrimination against people following a Christian faith.
'We do want children to be proud of their Christian faith, therefore
we would like to encourage them to wear crosses,' she added.
'The best solution in this case for children to be kept safe would be for pupils to wear a brooch - in fact some children already do.'