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July 20, 2007



I'm no fan of the silver ring thing, but it sounds like the school was completely out of line.


Was it perhaps the guilty conscience of the adminstration who didn't want to be reminded of their lack of sexual purity?

Dusty Brahlek

I am not sure I would say it was out of line, but I do want more information. For example, what jewlery IS allowable! If the rule is no rings, then that is the rule that is accpeted upon entry; however, if they are picking and chosing what rings... that is wrong.

It seems that some bracelets are allowable, but not all necklaces? it seems like a strange uniform policy but it is not my school...

So short comment long, I would need more information on the situation.


I echo Dusty's comments.
From reading the first article on the website, it looks as though the school has a policy of no adronments/jewellery except those required by religous obligation. The article mentions that they make an exception for sikh bracelets, which required to be worn by practicing Sikhs. It does not seem that this is a case of a specific ban against purity rings.

mary o'hayes

England is messed up in this regard. Recently a Christian British Airways attendant was told she couldn't wear a cross, that it went against their regulations against wearing jewelry. I believe the attendant successfully challenged that and was allowed to wear a cross necklace.

Many British institutions bend over backwards to allow non-Christians to wear their religious garb, including allowing Sikh males to carry swords into high schools (!!), but they often do not allow the same freedom of religious expression to Christians. Just part of our topsy-turvy Western world, I guess, that seemingly respects almost any religion except its own Christianity.


Then why shouldn't an exception be made for Christians who want to wear purity rings? makes no sense.


I've been reading all the articles, and I think it's an interesting case. As I understand it, the argument from the school is that the ring is not a 'necessary' expression of Christian faith; a cross necklace would be all right, but purity rings are not. Meanwhile, other religious apparel (headscarves etc.) is not restricted, which is as it should be. I also read a comment that other kids in the school wear tongue rings and other alternative jewelry and don't always get in trouble, so there may be some issue there as well.

Since we can only see a few articles, it's hard to make a judgement. I'm inclined to vote for the ring as an expression of personal faith, but I can also see the school's side if they have a general jewelry ban and don't see it as necessary in the same way a Muslim headscarf might be--though that has a rather complicated history too.

I'm not a big fan of purity rings myself, but I can quite see the appeal to many girls. And, I just realized while sitting here typing, kids in my church don't wear crosses but very often wear symbolic rings. I did myself all through high school. I wonder what the school would do with that?

Michelle Potter

I'm a fan of purity rings, I am. However, I don't think the way to get the message out is by violating a school rule that bans all jewelry not *required* by your religion. Purity rings may be good, they may be an expression of your faith, but they are not required for salvation and so they do not fit the rule.


Can Christianity really be called the "western world's" own? Didn't it start up in like, the middle east?

And yeah I have to agree a purity ring is not on a par with a hijab. The whole thing of purity rings just reeks of a marketing gimmick, I find them incredibly distasteful.


"In the Bible it says you should remain sexually pure and I think this is a way I want to express my faith."

This has got me quite fired up. The bible says nothing about this purity ring being a requirement or even a symbol of sexual purity. Just express your faith by... BEING sexually pure, and He'll be happy! He doesn't care about some tacky piece of jewellery people are hawking at places like this: http://www.purityring.com/


First, kudos to this girl for standing by her beliefs!
Second, shame on that school. The ring may not be an official part of a religion, but it's unofficial purpose is obvious, elegant and unobstrusive. How could it bother anyone?
Third...for crying out loud, it's a little tiny ring! What kind of boring stuffed shirts ban jewelry of all kinds? My daughter, now 22 and the coolest kid on earth, has numerous piercings. She would have been expelled forever if she went to that school!

Anna S

I think purity rings are great, but if school rules don't allow rings, I think there are plenty of other ways to show commitment to purity and chastity.


I don't think there's anything wrong with someone wanting to wear a purity ring. The purity ring may not be the actual engaging of a commitment to sexual purity but it is a symbol of that commitment/promise. No where in the bible does it say a married christian must wear a wedding band, however many wear it because it is a symbol professing their commitment/promise to there spouse. Being told not to wear this harmless ring of such intrinsic value at school is comparable to your boss telling you not to wear your wedding band to work.


Wow Wendy, you point out the total absurdity so well!!


In Girls Gone Mild you discuss your discomfort with the virginity ring... I wonder where this discomfort comes from... if at your college you were practically forced to wear "shameless hussy" stickers, why is it a bad idea for a young girl/woman to publicly declare with a piece of jewelry her stance to be abstinent?

I lost my virginity at a relatively young age, and feel that my decision to do so was largely informed by cultural pressure. When I asked a babyboomer friend why she lost her virginity at the same age I did, she said with a laugh that she was horny. I didn't believe her, because even if a young girl is "horny," if she's a virgin she usually doesn't desire intercourse. This fact has been bothering me for years, and I just wanted to sound off about it to you, and figured since I was already leaving you another message I'd leave that one, too.



Hi Elizabeth,

I'm glad you brought it up because there wasn't space to go into it in my book. I have heard from many teenage girls who want to remain virgins, but they are so embarrassed to reveal this to their friends that eventually, many lose their virginity just so that their "friends" will leave them alone.

So I think that it's great that there are public advocates for abstinence until marriage right now, because we need that to be a valid option, but on a case by case basis I think I'd prefer to see society returning to the concept of "none of your business!" Girls don't owe anyone public statements about their virginity to begin with; and to think that they do, to me, is too much of a concession to the idea that modesty is really about shame. (I.e., if you're not ashamed about something, then you should be telling everyone.)

Well, no. The reason not to tell everyone is because the private realm is precious, and I believe allowing girls to carve out their own private realm and to know they have a right to it would do a lot to restoring a more humane society.

To sum up, I think girls should have the right to wear purity rings, but if it ever became so popular that people made assumptions about girls who didn't wear them--well, I would be uncomfortable with that state of affairs.

Mrs. Pilgrim

I wonder how the school would react if those girls started wearing all white?


As a fan of Miss Manners, I recently read a column in which a teenage girl wrote in to ask about the etiquette surrounding "purity" rings and/or chastity bracelets. Miss Manners responded (quite correctly, I think!) that "polite society" does not recognize purity rings or chastity bracelets. Rather, polite society is so polite that it assumes a young lady is chaste - regardless of her jewelry - until she gives it a reason to believe otherwise. That may not say much about the validity of disallowing these symbols, but I think it says a lot about the reason people take them up to begin with. I see this as a social rather than religious trend among teens, and frankly I don't think it's a particularly important trend. If you need a piece of jewelry to remind yourself or convey to other people that you are either pure or chaste, you're probably neither.


How about purity tatoos on the left ring finger?

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