UK: Sarika Watkins-Singh, 14, took Aberdare Girls’ School, in south Wales, to the High Court after she was excluded for wearing the Kara – a bracelet worn by many Sikhs as a symbol of faith.
But despite winning the case the teenager will not return for the start of the new term following the courtroom battle.
She said: “I don’t want to go back to Aberdare Girls’ School because after everything that has happened it won’t be the same as it was before everything kicked off.
“I did want to go back but since I’ve seen the teacher’s statements and heard what the school had to say during the court case I’ve changed my mind. I’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided not to go back.”
Sarika was targeted for wearing the band because Aberdare Girls’ School has a strict jewellery policy which only allows wristwatches and ear studs.
The school said the issue was about health and safety and not discrimination.
But the court heard how Sakira was isolated from her classmates for two months and even accompanied to the lavatory by a member of staff, before finally being excluded for persistently breaking the “no jewellery” rule.
The schoolgirl argued that the bangle was more than jewellery, saying it was an essential part of her faith.
And in July High Court Judge Mr Justice Silber ruled the school had discriminated against Sakira’s race and religion over the half-inch wide, plain steel bangle.
Sarika, from Cwmbach, near Aberdare, is now attending Mountain Ash School, a few miles away, to study for her GCSEs.
The ruling was expected to pave the way for other similar cases involving religious apparel.