Cross-dressing student sent home

Another bit of Texas. 

It’s a shame that the story exists,  but there are some good elements in it.  Not least of those is the student’s unquestioning assertion of his rights.   Schools clearly need diversity consultants!

And there’s a nice critical reasoning question, which needs to be asked before you get to the lawyer:  Did he break the dress code?


UK Courts Rule on What Counts as Philosophy

Rupert Dickinson was, he says, sacked for his Green beliefs. Today’s Guardian reports that

In today’s ruling, Mr Justice Michael Burton decided that: “A belief in man-made climate change, and the alleged resulting moral imperatives, is capable if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations.” Under those regulations it is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of their religious or philosophical beliefs.

The written ruling, which looked at whether philosophy could be underpinned by a scientific belief, quoted from Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy and ultimately concluded that a belief in climate change, while a political view about science, can also be a philosophical one.

It’s excellent and ridiculous all at once! On the one hand, I agree with this:

Camilla Palmer, of Leigh Day and Co, said it opened doors for an even wider category of deeply held beliefs, such as feminism, vegetarianism or humanism. “It’s a great decision. Why should it only be religions which are protected?”

But on the other hand, a lollypop and a pony ride for anyone who can explain to me what the hell any of these mean:

In his written judgment, Mr Justice Burton outlined five tests to determine whether a philosophical belief could come under employment regulations on religious discrimination

• The belief must be genuinely held.

• It must be a belief and not an opinion or view based on the present state of information available.

• It must be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life.

• It must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance.

• It must be worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others.