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Northview students react to piercing issue

Friday, October 5, 2007

Facial piercing has stirred up controversy at Northview High School, and student leaders have asked for a change.

Currently, the high school's policy is that students are not to have visible piercing other than in their ears.

The school guidelines say that violations of the piercing rule can be punished by a warning, in-school suspension or up to 10 days of out of school suspension and recommendation for expulsion, depending on the number of violations.

At the moment, clear spacers meant to keep the piercing open without actual jewelry, are not allowed as a school-day alternative.

Some students believe this rule is limiting their self-expression.

A petition to allow students to wear facial piercing has been passed around the school.

Bailey Deakins and Alyssa Driscoll were two of the students who helped create the petition.

The democratic process in the school began with petition approval by guidance counselor and student council advisor Scott McDonald.

The students collected more than 500 signatures from the student body, and then turned in the petition to McDonald last Thursday.

McDonald passed the petition to Principal Tim Rayle, who recommended that the student council review the proposed changes to the handbook.

The student council reviewed the proposed changes to the dress code, and passed a recommendation on to Rayle saying that piercing creates the same amount of distraction as various hair colors.

The next step is for Rayle to present the changes to the school board.

"This is something a lot of the kids felt like was an issue," student council advisor Scott McDonald said.

The student council at Northview High School meets with Rayle once a month to discuss issues within the student body.

Small ways to improve the morale in the school have already been put into action.

Students were having issues with where to put their books while in the bathroom, since backpacks are not allowed in the school.

After discussing the issue with the student council, Rayle had shelves put up in the men's and women's bathrooms.

Deakins, a sophomore who has an eyebrow ring, said she'd like the opportunity to at least wear a spacer so her piercing doesn't close during the day.

She feels that by not letting the students preserve the piercing, the school is preventing students from having their piercing outside of school.

Facial piercing has been considered distracting by the administration. The rule was put into place by the school board to encourage student concentration.

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I hope the current policy about facial piercings in Clay Community Schools is not changed. There are many things that teenagers want to express about themselves that parents should say no to. When I was in high school I liked the rock group Kiss but my parents didn't let me go to school dressed like Gene Simmons. I wish the parents of today would realize that teens need direction and guidance, not a philosophy of "whatever you want to do is fine."

-- Posted by 5longyears on Sat, Oct 6, 2007, at 9:36 PM

How are the piercings interfering with the students and their work? As for comparing you going to school dressed like KISS, Gene Simmonds, is pretty silly. He doesn't even have any piercings. Since when does a piercing show that a child doesn't have guidance and direction?

-- Posted by loulou on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 8:09 AM

Why not allow the students to use clear spacers? Kids are distracted by EVERYTHING! A facial piercing is not going to prevent an entire class from learning. What are we telling our children? Their idea of who they are is not good enough? This is America and freedom of expression is not just for adults. I agree with unnatural hair colors, but CLEAR spacers? No way. Leave the kids alone!

-- Posted by docpookie on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 8:12 AM

Last year at the school I teach at a parent called and wanted to pierce her 4th grade child's tongue and wondered if he would be allowed to come to school with it in if she has this done. The policy that CCS set stopped her from doing this to her 9 year old son.I do not want the policy changed; Indianpoils Public School enforces a dress code with uniforms, I don't see why CCS can't set statndards too.

-- Posted by 5longyears on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 9:07 AM

Your talking 4th grade. This is High School students wanting to change the policy. I have to admire them. I totally agree with you on the piercing too way to young. I think by high school they are old enough that we need to listen what they are saying.

Matter of fact, my son wants his tongue pierced and I WON'T let him. As for school uniforms, been there done that, know what doesn't make a difference.

-- Posted by loulou on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 11:50 AM

As someone who has been involved in the tattoo and piercing industry.... let me start off by saying no studio would ever pierce someone under the age of 14. It is illegal for them to do so. People have been trying to pass the piercing age to 16 and I support that. I have seen too many piercing gone wrong from someone being too immature to properly care for it. At our studio we always inform students that Clay and Vigo Co. schools do not allow piercings. That being said I do not see how wearing a CLEAR spacer to school is a distraction. There are soooo many other things being said and done in the classrooms these days..that a handful of students having a facial piercing is not distracting other students. Piercings are very commonplace these days...so students don't have a big reaction to them..therefore it's old news to them and I think they could care less if Bobby or Susie got a new lip ring.

-- Posted by ohosit on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 1:22 PM

I have to agree iwth 5longyears on this one in that parents of today need to start doing a better job and still controlling their teens. But then again, on the flip side, the school corporation shouldn't rule out CLEAR spacers as an option for those that choose to pierce parts of their body other than their ears. That's a big rediculous to not even consider THAT as an option. It's one thing to limit the use of jewelry of these piercing but yet another thing to totally prevent it outside of the school. I guess I have mixed feelings about this and everyone thus far has made great arguments on either side.

-- Posted by andypflueger on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 5:11 PM

I dont understand how you can compare a piercing on your face to Gene Simmons from Kiss..a facial piercing is not a sure sign that parents arent giving their children "Guidance or direction" a facial piercing is a form of expression and if you ask me let them wear it if they think they want to alter thier body let them try a piercing at least it will grow back if they decide they hate it...unlike a tattoo that is not going anywhere for the rest of their lives

-- Posted by tdr on Wed, Oct 10, 2007, at 3:52 AM

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