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Monday, May 2, 2016

Board tackles 'piercing' dilemma

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A "piercing issue" had a chance to poke another hole in the sides of the Clay Community Schools Board of Trustees Thursday night.

As the lone potential change to the student handbook presented for discussion, the majority of the board were leery to move away from the current policy of allowing piercings only in the ears or covered by clothing.

"We are just about to the point of allowing either the proposed change or none at all," CCS Curriculum Director Kathy Knust said.

Northview High School Principal Tim Rayle was pushing for the change which would require piercings to be "in good taste" and "worn in a safe manner."

"We have lines in front of the office everyday because of piercings," he said. "I just don't see how we can justify potentially expelling students because of this issue and how it interferes with learning."

The board's skepticism stemmed from feeling the changes would make interpreting the policy subjective.

"The wording would provide too much latitude in determining what is in good taste," Board Member Steve Grigsby said.

School Board President Terry Barr resonated the same sentiments.

"What one person or parent might find offensive, others may not," she said. "In life, we have to learn how to play by the rules whether we like it or not."

The board proceeded to reject the proposed change.

Summer School and Driver's Education classes were also a point for discussion during the meeting.

"For the first time students should have the option of taking driver's ed commercially or in house," CCS Superintendent Dan Schroeder said.

Schroeder explained Sammers Driving School, Terre Haute, would be offering the course at an approximate cost of $350, which is below the undetermined cost of what the school will offer. A current estimation of the cost to take the class through the school was at least $470.

The proposed course offerings are High School English, Freshman Physical Education and Driver's Ed at Northview and Clay City, and NovaNet Classes in English Algebra, Biology and U.S. History at Northview.

JumpStart remediation will be offered from July 28-Aug. 8, and the deadline to sign up and pay for Driver's Ed is April 25. The actual course offerings for summer school is dependent on enrollment numbers and financial reimbursement from the state at the end of the second semester.

Schroeder also thanked Building and Grounds Inspector Tom Reberger for installing an additional four security cameras at Northview and an additional 12 at North Clay Middle School.

"All of the cameras are motion activated and are recording everything so we, if needed, could burn footage to a disc to give to the prosecutor," Reberger said. "Televisions are also set up for the students to see they are being recorded and it will hopefully be a big deterrent. None of the cameras are in the restrooms, but they are set up so we can monitor who goes in and out. We haven't forgotten about the security issue."

The board also accepted the first readings of three new policies to be reviewed again at next month's meeting, as well as a bid for many new computers.

The bid, which came from Dell, is for $307,488.12 and will provide a total of 499 new computers, 489 17-inch monitors and 10 19-inch monitors for Northview and Clay City High Schools, along with North Clay Middle School.

The next regular session of the Clay Community School Board of Trustees will be Thursday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m., in the Auditeria at Clay City Jr./Sr. High School.


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Get real, you old fogies! It is 2008. Piercings are as much a part of this new generation as rock and roll was to yours.

-- Posted by RDK on Fri, Mar 14, 2008, at 3:08 AM

I agree with the Board. Set some standards and stick by them. There are rules, whether you agree with them or not, that we have to conform to. When these students graduate and enter the workforce, most places will not allow anymore piercings than the school policy dictates.

In the places I have worked, none would allow piercings, witht the exception of one in each ear, and then it couldn't be dangling.

And now that I am in a position of hiring people...the impression that multiple piercings (and tatoos for that matter) give during an interview...well, I'm not saying I absolutely would not hire someone like that, but in a competitive world where you want to put yourself out in front of your competition, how you present yourself can and does make all the difference.

Maybe I've grown into an "old fogie", but your comparison of piercings to past generation's rock and roll is flawed. Rock and roll music was something that was experienced, piercings are a statement about yourself.

It is my opinion that the school board should go a step further and require uniforms. This has already begun in Marion County, and I'm sure it will spread.

I understand it is only natural for teenagers to want to rebel some, but there always has to be rules to live by. The present policy is very reasonable and should not be altered in any way.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Fri, Mar 14, 2008, at 6:53 AM

THANK YOU SCHOOL BOARD. I totally agree with your decision. There is no way to uniformly interpret "in good taste" and "worn in a safe manner" and there would be so much more confusion. There are so many employers out there who do not allow the piercings that are worn today. People can say old fogie all they want, but I truly believe it's the best policy for a school.

-- Posted by LEEJDC on Fri, Mar 14, 2008, at 7:24 AM

I think that if piercings inhibited learning, then it should be an issue, but I can't possibly see how, unless the kid has his eyes pierced shut. The only people that it bothers are the faculty and if it stops them from teaching, then they should be replaced. Children don't need to be taught by closed minded people who can't do their jobs because they are distracted by shiny objects. It would be nice if people would quit worrying about how kids are trying to express themselves and start worrying about their education. I have 4 boys. I let them be who they are and I have found that they are pretty good kids. It's what values you teach your kids that are important, not what they look like. I'm sure some day this will be as much of an issue as bra burning and girls wearing pants, but a person has to have a cause or a reason for debate.

-- Posted by djbrandy200 on Fri, Mar 14, 2008, at 8:09 AM

The point is not what age everyone commenting is! The point is that these kids need to understand that everything that they do now while they are young, makes a difference in their future. I agree that the policy should remain the same. To me these parents who allow their minor child to pierce their body in places other than ears, are teaching the kids that it is ok to only live in the here and now, that the future doesn't matter as much. I think that the excuse "well they are just expressing themselves" is bs and should only be said once that child is a legal adult, not before. We are supposed to mold our children into good people with values and skills. I understand that a piercing doesn't make you a certain way good or bad, but it does influence certain opportunities and way that their life turns out. Although it may be a social acceptance issue, the policy is acceptable and reasonable. Just my opinion...

-- Posted by Southernized on Fri, Mar 14, 2008, at 5:40 PM

I agree with the board's decision. I am a teacher outside of the county, and students at my school are allowed to have piercings. I wish they weren't, though. What parents don't realize is that they do interrupt the learning process. I have students come up to me all the time and ask to leave in the middle of class because they need to go rinse their mouth out due to a new tongue piercing. As I walk down the hallways, I have to ask girls to put their shirts down and stop showing off their new belly button rings and

tattoos. I've seen kids fight before and pull out eyebrow rings and have to go to the hospital to get stitches. I had one student get his new lip ring in the bathroom during lunch. He also got a nasty infection.

I feel my job as an educator is to prepare my students for the working world, and in this world (whether we like it or not)there are rules that have to be followed--dress codes being one of them. Most jobs today do require employees to follow some type of dress code. If a person doesn't follow this code, then they'll find someone else who will. It's as simple as that. Are you going to go in and tell your child's boss one day that they shouldn't fire your son or daughter because they are just expressing themselves? I don't think so, or at least I hope not.

Yes, I realize that kids want to express themselves. They need to realize, though, that there is a time and place for everything. How would they feel if they went to the doctor, and their nurse came in with purple hair, tattoos everywhere, and a face full of piercings? My guess is that they would find a new doctor. If the nurse wants to look like this on the weekends, fine, but the office in not the place for this type of appearance. Kids should realize the same thing about school. School is their job right now. It is practice for their future. They need to practice following school rules, so they can get and keep a job after graduation and be successful. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be allowed to look the way they want to; I'm saying that they need to save it for the appropriate time.

-- Posted by alw on Fri, Mar 14, 2008, at 9:24 PM

Rules are rules,they're put in place for good reason's. If your're not able to understand them, then maybe you should go back to kindergarten and "re-learn" the basics off what it's all about. Maybe a class that teaches RESPECT should put on the school boards next agenda meeting, because it seem's to me, there isn't any being learned by kids these days,for rules or for the values of life. Rules are'nt imposed just to disrupt anyones lives, they're made to make it safer and better,because someone does actually care.

-- Posted by fitch30437 on Fri, Mar 14, 2008, at 9:53 PM

To RDK, hate to break it to you, but,this "New Generation" hasn't stumbled upon anything new. Piercings have been around for many "Generations". The older generation just had more fear ,oh wait, "respect" for their parents and teachers than your new generation will ever comprhend.

-- Posted by fitch30437 on Fri, Mar 14, 2008, at 10:01 PM

If respect is taught at home then there would be no need to offer a class in it!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Sat, Mar 15, 2008, at 10:04 AM

rules are rules they say but rules are only for a selected group. the rule are there for all students but it dont work that way. The school does what they want for enforcing the rules. And it depends on who you are on if the piercing/clothing rule applies.

-- Posted by pepsilady on Tue, Mar 18, 2008, at 10:22 PM

Ok for all of you in the OLD generation, times are changing. Deal with it. As a member of this community who has spent the last 14 years of his life working for the government in one form or another, I know all about rules and regulations. And yes some rules are in place for safety reasons. However these rules should not interfere with an individuals right to express personal freedom. I myself have 11 piercings and wear thenm on a daily basis. I catch a lot of crap from peers and supervisors who want to interject their own opinions on me. I feel that people should be judged upon there merit not someone elses personal prejudices. I am a proud parent and would wholeheartedly support my child if they chose to get pierced.

-- Posted by FED_CO on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 4:54 AM

I have had my nose pierced since I was 18 and I still have the piercing in. I understood when I got the piercing done, that not everyone was going to like it. I had to wear a spacer in it during high school, because some deemed it distracting to my and the other students' [around me] learning. I would have completely understood if I had a big ring in my nose, that would be distracting...but I had a SPACER. I was disciplined several times, and it still didn't make me want to remove it. All it did was make me want to fight for my freedom of expression. It was CLEAR and no one could even see it, but I stil got disciplined because the faculty members knew it was there. Now is that even fair?

ALSO -- Just because I have a nose piercing or a belly button piercing doesn't make me any less of a respectable person. My parents did an excellent job teaching me values and important life skills. I have respect for others and respect for the way they want to express themselves. I have held 3 office jobs were I have worn my nose stud openly -- 1 of which I am still currently working. Yes, maybe my piercing could someday influence my abilities to get a job - then I will remove it - but until then I'm going to keep it in because I like it and it does look tasteful.

-- Posted by lily20 on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 9:19 AM


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