Unlike Brett at Harry's Place, I welcome yesterday's decision in the case of Sarika Watkins-Singh. That the girl should have been forbidden by her school from wearing a '5mm thick steel bangle, known as a kara,... one of the five outward signs worn by Sikhs to show their faith', strikes me as a piece of worthless rigidity not justified in a secular and liberal society.
That secularism doesn't require any prohibition against wearing religious insignia in schools or other public spaces is something I've already argued more than once, including in these posts, so I won't go into that again. But the argument from a need for uniforms is also unconvincing, given the way in which exceptions generally seem to be made to this requirement but to stop short just where the relevant authority arbitrarily specifies it must. In this particular case, it is no different:
It was not until April 2007 when a teacher noticed her kara that she was asked to remove it in line with the school's "no jewellery" policy which allows pupils to wear no more than watches and simple ear studs.
The school, it would seem, was willing to allow exceptions of practicality (a watch for telling the time) and - what? - fashion (ear studs). So, not everything on the pupils is quite uniform. By what reason, then, can it be said that an object important to a person on account of her identity speaks to a less important consideration than these two? You will struggle to get an answer to that question.