Lesson to kids: Chastity can cost you $24,000. That's about how much 16-year-old Lydia Playfoot (or her parents) will have to pay in court costs, now that she's lost a case against school administrators who made her remove her chastity ring. Millais School in Horsham, West Sussex, claims that wearing the ring violated its dress code; Lydia claims that Millais School violated her human rights. (The human right in question being the one about free expression of religion; Playfoot considers her chastity ring a "religious artifact.") The British authorities had better tread lightly, though. Gadfly remembers what eventually happened the last time the English cracked down on religious expression (see here). And thanks to the rebellious Mayflower Puritans and the revolutionaries that followed, American students have been able to express their own, deeply held beliefs ever since.

"Girl loses legal fight over ‘chastity ring,'" by Michael Herman and Joanna Sugden, Times of London, July 16, 2007

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