Peter Thompson's 6-year-old son was forbidden by his school to wear an anklet with the Christian fish symbol, or Ichthus, on it, and now Thompson is keeping his son home until the school apologizes.
Six-year-old Eddie Thompson, who goes to an elementary school in South Yorkshire, England, had been wearing the anklet under his sock for about six months when a teacher confiscated it, the Doncaster Free Press reports.
SCROLL FOR PHOTO OF ANKLET
Eddie's father, who is 39, says he feels that the school discriminated against his son because of his faith.
“I don’t want his education to suffer but I don’t want to send him back at this stage," Thompson said, according to The Sun. "And when he does go back I’m worried about how he will be treated.”
In responding to the incident, a school official cited the safety and well-being of students and said the school's dress code clearly outlines what students are permitted to wear, the Doncaster Free Press reports.
Although Thompson and his son live in England, religious items have been banned from schools in the United States, too.
In a high-profile incident from 2010, a 13-year-old boy was suspended for wearing rosary beads at a middle school in Schenectady, N.Y., because the school had a policy against "gang-related" clothing. A federal judge eventually ordered that the boy be allowed to wear the beads to school, but the family has since moved to another town, according to the Times Union.
And in September, a school in Kountze, Texas, banned its cheerleaders from using Biblical-themed banners during school football games, until a judge granted a temporary injunction allowing the banners.
In response to the school's ban on the Bible-themed banners, Mike Johnson, a senior counsel for the Liberty Institute, a Texas-based, not-for-profit law firm that aims to defend religious liberty in the U.S., said, "It's an important and fundamental freedom students have to engage in free speech. They are not asking anyone to believe in Christianity or accept the faith," the Associated Press previously reported.
What do you think? Should the boy have been allowed to wear the anklet?
Eddie Thompson shows the anklet that caused a controversy at his school:
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