Wednesday 23 March 2005

Compare and contrast.

The Shabina Begum case:

A girl was unlawfully excluded from school for wearing a traditional Muslim gown instead of school uniform, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

The Olivia Acton case:

A 13-year-old girl has been suspended from school because the head teacher disapproves of her hairstyle.

Olivia Acton returned from a holiday with braids, which Middleton Technology School in Rochdale deemed "extreme".

She has been excluded until the braids are removed, but is resisting the school's demands which she regards as being discriminatory.

I hope that, if this goes to court, the courts will reach the same conclusion as they did in the former case.

I also think it's a preposterous waste of time and money that these cases are going to court at all. Can these disagreements really not be sorted out at a lower level than the High Court? Can people not manage what are really quite minor disagreements in their lives without hiring barristers?

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