Sikh Minister Speaks in Support of Student's Right to Wear Crucifix to School

December 8, 2005


On December 8, 2005 reported, "The news that a 16-year-old UK school girl was suspended for wearing a crucifix at a school where Sikh religious articles are permitted has sparked the ire of the Sikh community as well as the Christian community. Sikh Minister Sardarni Sahiba Gurumeet Kaur Khalsa told 'It is the height of wrongful discrimination to disallow Christian students to wear a crucifix, while yet allowing Sikh students to wear a kara (a religious steel bracelet).; Deputy head teacher Howard Jones of Sinfin Community School in Derby... said the wearing of the crucifix violates the schools ban on jewellery. However, UK Tory MP and noted Christian MP Ann Widdecombe told UK papers that the decision was 'crazy' and said Jones was 'utterly ignorant' if he believes the crucifix to be just jewellery. Jones explained that the Sikh religious articles are permitted because Sikh faith requires them. 'We are very comfortable with our policy and believe we are being even-handed and fair. Christianity does not require followers to wear a specific symbol.' However, the Minister of Divinity of Sikh Dharma who contacted explained that the action of the school against Morris was the 'height of wrongful discrimination' since 'I hold her commitment to wear her crucifix sacred in the same way that I choose to uphold my commitment to wear my kara each day.'"