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Thread: Facial Piercing and School

  1. #19

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    Default Nose Stud

    Not that i agree, but i can see why the school is enforcing this - some kids would take it to the extreme and end up with lil holes all over their faces, just to rebel IYKWIM??
    I had a nose ring at that age and i probably still would if it werent for my boss at the time - i told him he couldnt discriminate against me!! And he replied that as i was casual, all he had to give me was 3 hours a week.

    I succombed to the corporate BS, lame little activist!



    Help your daughter to fight!! But ensure this petition is clearly within reason - dont leave it open to interpretation (eg multiple piercings) - there should be no reason for them to deny her wearing a retainer for crying out loud.
    Go to the P&C meetings. Arrange a 1 on 1 with the principal. If your daughter succombs to thsi it may just well shape her view on "authority" forever..... hang on, that is probably a good thing!

  2. #20
    Peach Guest

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    I am probably going to get flamed for this but ... I actually agree with the school Sorry !! I am sending my daughter to a private school so that they *do* inforce these rules. I am a conservative person and I know peer pressure can be a powerful issue with teenage girls so if schools can enforce uniform standards then the competitveness is taken out if the equation, there is enough peer pressure in all aspects of teenagers life at school and I believe that minimising this is a fantastic.

  3. #21

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    Hey Jen,

    I have to agree with you......sorry - flame away!

    I teach in a High School, and would certainly prefer such a ruling. We have an open policy on piercings - and I have students who have multiple facial piercings - one student that has 2 through each eyebrow - 1 through the middle of the nose and 2 through the bottom lip.

    I'm all in for complete uniformity with dress/jewellery rules.

    *Putting on flame coat now*

  4. #22

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    I don't think we need to be defensive. We're all adults and can agree to disagree if necessary. I think as long as you take the time to explain why you feel a certain way. I can see why facial piercings can be attractive to some people but when they are numerous (not just a nose stud) ie through tongues, eyebrows, lips it can kinda look aggressive. To me it says: "My natural face is not good enough, it's just like everybody else's if it's unpierced, I need to be different, I need to make you look at me and I like that I am empowered by my piercings enough to intimidate you". That's just how I feel when i look at a multi-pierced face. I don't think school children need to go to school with this kind of non verbal statement. School shouldn't make anyone feel uncomfortable. As I said in my previous post: school should be a team sport... if students want to wear their piercing after school then good on them. As parents we should be encouraging our children to be mult-faceted... ie able to adjust to many situations... not just apply the same mode of behaviour/dress to every situation.

  5. #23
    rhyb Guest

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    I'm actually 2 years out of high school and had the same issue in my public school. I'm one of those people that mothers drag their kids away from if I smile at them because I have my nose, septum, tongue, lip and 7 ear piercings in. It's not to look tough or intimidating, it's because I feel more confident and beautiful (don't ask me why, I just do ) and I do it to get over my fear of needles. My school said it was a safety issue in case of a fight that involved me (which was insane as I am a very peaceful person and had never been in a fight) and it was not covered in the dress code and not considered minimal jewellry. I refused to take them out as I was a good student, never in trouble and there were many others getting away with facial piercings because they only had 1 or 2. Most public schools don't inform full uniform so this sounds ridiculous to me. I just refused and they gave up, but I'm sure you can think of a more diplomatic way to tackle it, like reasoning during sport is understandable but all the time is out of the question. Best of luck with this.

  6. #24

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    Rhyb, I hope I was tactful in expressing my views darl... they are just my thoughts... not law or anything. As I said in an earlier post: I've chosen to, in the past, to live an alternative life and I believe that the right to express yourself by way of dress and adornment should be upheld in our free Western society. However I also value and admire the ability to set aside one's rights temporarily to show outward unity with peers in certain situations. Team sport, religious observance (if we moved to The United Arab Emirates I would wear a Hijab), and for a profession (if I was a nurse I would wear the uniform) are examples of when I believe it's right to do this. I see school as being a similar situation. I love the diversity in our country, I love the vibrant alternative cultures and communities of which i have been a part (used to live near Nimbin when i went to uni and lived in Fitzroy Melb. both famous for alternative lifestylers. I would never wish that we all became a homogeneous society where everyone looked the same. But in a school environment I would like to think that many students are experiencing the benefits of uniform for the first time in preparation for careers in medicine, law, animal welfare (forestry officers for example) sports careers, retail, corporate sector... any workplace that places requirements on its workers in terms of personal presentation. Students need to learn the skill of caring for a uniform because often in childhood there is no other opportunity.
    Last edited by Bathsheba; February 23rd, 2008 at 07:07 PM.

  7. #25
    Butterfly_Princess Guest

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    Im in my second year out of school, and my public school enforced these sorts of rules.
    We (females) were only aloud 2 studs in each ear, and a plain necklace. Nothing else. They were lenient on new piercings too, but once they were healed up, they had to be taken out, or have a small bit of bandaid put over them to hide them. I personally thought they stood out more when the band aid was 'hiding' them than what they would if they werent being 'hidden'.
    The funny thing was, when ever a student got sent home for wearing peircings that shouldnt be worn, they soon got into the habbit of wearing the piercing, taking them out when a teacher was around, or when a teacher noticed, and when the teacher was gone, it would go straight back in. Not all the teachers would 'notice', only the strict ones that were uniform natzi's... No one could really ensure the piercing stays out...my brother wore his eyebrow ring in, without the balls on either side, he got away with that too.
    I agree that students should be aloud piercings, within reason though. A small nose piercing thats hardly noticeable i think would be acceptable, but when you start getting huge piercings and outrageous piercings, thats where the line should be drawn.

    With the whole necklaces thing on males, i think the males at my school were aloud plain necklaces, with nothing on them. So baisically a chain. But they were mostly hidden by the school polo, no one noticed...

  8. #26

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    I agree that students should be aloud piercings, within reason though. A small nose piercing thats hardly noticeable i think would be acceptable, but when you start getting huge piercings and outrageous piercings, thats where the line should be drawn.

    Meg: The phrase "slippery slope" kinda springs to mind. With kids in a school environment it's gotta be all or no-one.... unless it's for religious/health reasons. Otherwise it would be: "that girl has four studs in her ears why can't i have four studs in my tongue? Why does it matter where the studs are???" you'd be arguing all day and not actually able to discuss anything else. An employer wouldn't be prepared to have that discussion why should a teacher?

  9. #27
    webbgirl Guest

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    I do think that in somewhere as large as a school, there has to be strict rules. Apart from anything, in this day and age, there are rules for everything, mainly because if something happened, like an accident of some form, there are always people that are going to take it to the extreme (suing maybe) and therefore the school has to protect itself. I do think it also opens the flood gates, if she can wear that then I should be able to bring in my favourite .... whatever.
    Also School is a version of the big wide world and alot of jobs out there have strict dress codes and rules. Just my opinion..xo

  10. #28

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    The issue is, though, why isn't the student allowed to wear a clear retainer in a piercing during school hours? That's as invisible as you can get them, and it's incredibly unfair to impose rules on students that would affect them outside school hours - as in, a lot of posters have said 'It's fine to wear what you want outside school, but at school you have to adhere to the rules', but if students aren't allowed to even keep their piercing open with a clear, inoffensive retainer, then they can't really have piercings full stop, and that *does* impact on what they do outside of school hours, kwim? Same as dyeing your hair - if I want to express myself outside school hours with bright pink hair, how in hell am I meant to cover it for a few hours a day at school? I can't follow the school's 'policy' without their rules having an impact on how I live my life outside of school, and that's not fair at all.
    I have multiple facial piercings and never had a problem with them at school. Sure, a couple of the more conservative teachers took issue with them, but as there was nothing in the school's uniform policy regarding piercings other than earlobes (I was the only kid in school with an eyebrow piercing, this was a few years before the 'emo' trend and facial piercings in teens really took off), the school couldn't do anything. I showed up on time every day, wearing the correct shirt and skirt, never disrupted class and got good marks, so at the end of the day the piercings in my face didn't affect mine or anybody else's ability to learn, nor did it affect the teachers' ability to educate.

    If we truly believed in students all matching right down to a tiny nose stud, then shouldn't logic suggest that all students be made to cut their hair in the exact same style (chin-length bob for girls and short-back-and-sides for boys, for example) and that all students must dye their hair to match? What about if we tried to stop students from different ethnicities enrolling in a school because 'your skin doesn't match the other kids'? We are all individuals, and as far as I'm concerned it's ridiculous to try and force teenagers to conform any further than their shirts, shoes, pants/skirts and 'accessories' (and imo piercings aren't accessories, they're much more than just 'jewellery' because they actually have to get a piercing to put the jewellery in, kwim? It's not like a necklace or a bracelet, you know? And if 'plain studs' are allowed to be worn in earlobes, then why the hell not a labret or eyebrow piercing? They're exactly the same thing!).

    As far as 'preparing the kids for the working world', in my opinion that's a total crock. They're only kids for a few short years - let them be kids, have piercings, have stupid hair and wear loud socks (anything other than white ankle socks got banned at our school because all the girls started wearing knee-high brightly-coloured ones) for those few years before they're forced into the drudgery of a suit-and-tie existence!! It's a public school for crying out loud, not a bleeding Prep school or prestigious private academy. They don't need to be forced to wear the 'right' pants or take off their jewellery as 15-year-olds in order to prepare them for wearing a strict corporate uniform in years to come - by then they will have the maturity and will have got the rebelling out of their systems enough to just don the crisply-laundered clothing and not make a peep.

    I'd definitely be taking the issue up with the P&C or senior staff - if you're happy for your daughter to wear a clear retainer, then so should the school. It's not like she's gauged it and is wearing stark jewellery that stands out - she's just ensuring she hasn't wasted her money and is keeping the piercing open so she can enjoy it out of school hours.
    Last edited by Glamourcide; February 16th, 2009 at 10:47 PM.

  11. #29

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    QUOTE: "As far as 'preparing the kids for the working world', in my opinion that's a total crock".

    Gothmum; as always you're entitled to your tactful opinion. Although are you speaking on behalf of all parents, students and teachers? From my experience school is actually a pretty good place to learn teamwork skills that benefit people in the workplace. Going solo and remaining an autonomous individual at all times lends itself to a few careers and lifestyles.... but not many. As a fine art student who has worked solo on her work even I needed to know how to function as part of a team... organising exhibitions etc. Where better to learn the team mindset than in school? I'm wondering whether you read my earlier (longer) post? It seems as if you have a certain degree of contempt for people to go to work in a uniform, especially of the suit and tie variety. Personally I think that value judgement is a bit unfair. Many people feel more comfortable in that "uniform" because it takes the focus off them and onto the job at hand. I know for one that when i was doing temping as a receptionist I preferred it when the organisation had a uniform... it mean that there was less competitiveness about wearing the latest clothes and accessories etc. this kind of competitiveness isn't only present in the corporate sector either. Like it or not but even Emo teens and people who seem to think that they are being 'individuals' are actually participating in a competitive environment.... you can't tell me they don't care if you are wearing real or imitation Doc Martins (for example).

    Getting back to the original topic. Uniforms and dress codes are useful in schools to help kids actually be kids and engage in the activities at hand rather than be distracted by the competiveness that comes with free reign dressing. I understand the need to wear clear/invisible retainers to school... but as a teacher i would not support the wearing of actual metal piercings. And you know what... i'm not ultra conservative either.
    Last edited by Bathsheba; February 17th, 2009 at 10:42 AM. Reason: typos

  12. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bathsheba View Post
    Although are you speaking on behalf of all parents, students and teachers? From my experience school is actually a pretty good place to learn teamwork skills that benefit people in the workplace. Going solo and remaining an autonomous individual at all times lends itself to a few careers and lifestyles.... but not many.
    I'm wondering whether you read my earlier (longer) post? It seems as if you have a certain degree of contempt for people to go to work in a uniform, especially of the suit and tie variety.

    Getting back to the original topic. Uniforms and dress codes are useful in schools to help kids actually be kids and engage in the activities at hand rather than be distracted by the competiveness that comes with free reign dressing. I understand the need to wear clear/invisible retainers to school... but as a teacher i would not support the wearing of actual metal piercings. And you know what... i'm not ultra conservative either.
    Of course I speak solely for myself, I don't deny that for a second... but honestly, what the heck does a science teacher's personal opinion on body jewellery have to do with their ability to teach and a student's ability to learn? I remember when I got my labret pierced at 14 and the only person who mentioned it apart from my friends was my history teacher, who held me back after class and launched into a tirade on how I was a 'stupid, selfish girl' and that 'piercings are so ugly'. I laughed in her face - the piercing (a tiny stud) wasn't going to stop me acing my exams and if it was so distracting to her that it affected her ability to teach the class, she was welcome to sit me down the back of the room where she couldn't see it - or that maybe she should start telling the other girls in the class that their chunky bracelets and sparkly necklaces were distracting, too. Surprisingly, she had nothing to say.
    I did read your earlier post, and while I understand the points you made, I still firmly believe that there is no way to create a totally 'conformist' group so attempting to enforce completely meaningless things like 'no clear retainers in piercings' is little more than a pathetic attempt by authority (namely P&C Committee or school admin, or whoever writes uniform policy) to oppress people, essentially. That sounds dramatic, but I mean, come on - kids will be kids. They will have silly haircuts, wear dangly jewellery and wear their shirts untucked - there is plenty of time later for them to be more exacting in their dress (and by then they will have got the rebellion out of their systems and not care anymore - forcing teenagers to do stupid, meaningless things like wear navy hairbands instead of green ones just gives them the irrits and makes them more determined to defy authority - pick your battles, I guess is what I'm saying).
    I don't have any contempt at all for uniforms or the people who wear them - every job I've ever worked in required a set uniform (some more lax than others, obviously, but there was always a set rule as to what was and wasn't acceptable at work) and I've never had a problem with it. I too enjoy knowing that I'm neat and tidy and wearing exactly the same thing as my colleagues, but that being said, there must still be some room for individuality. I mean, if an employer told me to cut my hair into a certain style or length because it was 'too long' for the workplace, that employer would find themselves putting a 'help wanted' sign in the paper - if I wanted to be dictated to to the extreme that my work 'uniform' affects my life outside of working hours, I'd join the armed forces.

    You're right, there aren't many jobs where a person is completely autonomous, but I still don't think that working life should be allowed to affect your outside life. It's a bit like how some people don't agree with drug testing in the workplace - if they show up to work every day on time, sober and do the job they're being paid to do, then who's business is it if they take an x on Saturday night or smoke a bit of weed over the Christmas holidays? It doesn't affect their job, it doesn't affect their employer, so it's entirely irrelevant.
    (I personally don't condone the use of illicit drugs at all, but that's an argument I hear quit often from friends who do use drugs recreationally and disagree with their rights being infringed upon.)

    I just don't see why a public school should take issue with a clear, plastic retainer being used in a piercing. Obviously the student in question is attempting to 'conform' to their (ridiculous, imo) standards and that's still not good enough for them? How many other students get away with dangly earrings or other non-uniform items? I'd bet plenty, and there's just one or two conservative teachers who take offense to a simple nose piercing and are doing their best to make a defenceless student's life miserable. That's the teacher's problem, not the school's or the student's, and they need to get over themselves, basically. If the student was insisting on wearing a big f-off hoop through her nose, then yes, there would be reason for dispute, but a clear retainer is about as unobtrusive as you can get and there's no reason to discriminate against it. A student is there to learn, not get paid to do a job or present themselves to the community in a certain way (I mean how often do you get 'outsiders' come into school grounds to check out how presentable the kids are?).
    As you say, no public school uniform is completely enforceable, especially when it comes to students from lower-income families who simply can't afford $100 leather loafers and send their kid to school in $20 black sneakers from Big W instead. At our school the uniform policy dictated that students wear navy blue pants or skirts, but most of the kids wore denim jeans and nobody argued because there were plenty of kids from lower-income families who just couldn't fork out 3 x $60 'school pants' when they had three other school-age kids to clothe and feed and bills to pay. The kids are there to learn, not to get all dolled up and make the school's admin look good.

  13. #31

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    Yep, that's exactly my point: kids are there (at school) to learn and getting all dolled up (by putting all their piercings in place, dying their hair bright pink and wearing dog collars) is unnecessary as it doesn't aid the learning process

    Y'know, life can be so geared toward maintaining appearances ... isn't it great that at least some institutions support a non-appearance focussed environment? Because I think we would all agree that at the end of the day it's not what you look like that counts... it's what you do. I guess I just can't think of any situation or action at school that is more easily done wearing a nose ring. Although clubbing is alot more fun wearing a plunging neckline that shows off my crucifix tatt between my boobs! LOL

    oh and Gothmum... I actually really value your discussion on this issue. I find it a really challenging one and although it seems like I'm being like a bit of a terrier that won't let go of this thread it's only because I look forward to a career in education... and I really value clarifying my thoughts on the issue of individuality and schools. Unlike your suggestion that you can't control total 'uniformity' so shouldn't try (eg you gave the example of demanding that every student have the same hair cut)... I think that's taking my point too far. I see nothing smothering about dress codes for team oriented activities.

    My point about it being a sign of maturity to lay aside your need to assert your individuality temporarily to fit into a team environment would be the one I would like to emphasise. By doing this might even make children stop and think before they judge their peers... clothes/accessories are a language and while it's nice to be heard it's also good to listen. Putting people in uniform forces everyone to stop relying on outward clues to other peoples' character/personality etc... making them work harder to gather these clues when they are absent (when replaced by the uniform). If that makes any sense. Example: my suit-wearing corporate banker DH always surprises people when he tells them he plays guitar and writes folk pop music... now isn't that a good thing... slowing down the pigeon-holing holing tendency that is sadly all too common? I think so

    ETA: a little phrase has sprouted in my mind while I was hanging out my laundry after this post:

    "An individual in uniform has greater potential for subversive action and influence than one wearing their rebellion on their sleeve".

    Of course we all want our children to rule the world And for my part I hope to teach my children the idea behind that little sound-byte.
    Last edited by Bathsheba; February 18th, 2009 at 07:48 AM.

  14. #32
    paradise lost Guest

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    My point about it being a sign of maturity to lay aside your need to assert your individuality temporarily to fit into a team environment would be the one I would like to emphasise. By doing this might even make children stop and think before they judge their peers... clothes/accessories are a language and while it's nice to be heard it's also good to listen. Putting people in uniform forces everyone to stop relying on outward clues to other peoples' character/personality etc... making them work harder to gather these clues when they are absent (when replaced by the uniform). If that makes any sense. Example: my suit-wearing corporate banker DH always surprises people when he tells them he plays guitar and writes folk pop music... now isn't that a good thing... slowing down the pigeon-holing holing tendency that is sadly all to common? I think so
    I totally agree with this!

    I came very flippantly to this thread when it was first posted.

    I suppose when i was at school there were kids who bucked the system and broke the rules with pink hair, and i used to think "If pink hair was the rule would you still dye it?" Because as much as they proclaimed they wanted to wear their hair/make-up/piercings to express individuality, it wasn't really, unless you count the desire to disobey/disrupt as a personality trait. The goths in our school wore bright colours because the UNIFORM was black and they couldn't bear not standing out. What is the value of looking like "you" if "you" is defined just by not looking like anyone else?

    I think there's real value in individuality, but i think it's important for us to know we don't have to be relentlessly expressing every part of our personalities to be heard. I was a total hippy but i just wore the school uniform - i LOVED coming home and putting my flowing skirts and jewelry on! But i didn't feel the need to wear it all the time. After all, I spend about a 3rd of my life in bed but i don't wear my pyjamas to the shops to display it!

    Bx

  15. #33

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    I went to one of the top girls private schools in my state and I was definately the boundary pusher of my year....makeup, nose stud, crazy coloured hair, the lot.
    My principal would have a go at me everyday and I would never change any of it, til it got to the point of her saying "ill rip that nose stud out of your face" to which I complained to student council and she had to apologise... LOL
    But IMHO, if shed given up on harassing me I probably would've toned down the hair and makeup and gotten over the nose stud a lot sooner...they had a lot of double standards, like girls with dark hair could dye their hair bimbo blonde but a girl with blonde hair got in trouble for doing hers black... WTF?!
    Sorry this doesn't help much just sharing my experiences, I think its great that most public schools let kids wear what they want, as long as its not directly offensive e.g. Anti religious slogans or swear words...remembering our kids go to school for education not a fashion show, I know I sure did a lot more asserting than learning!!

  16. #34

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    I wont post my opinion, as once again Bath has pretty much said it for me! lol

    But I was wondering what DID happen with this Tanya? It was a couple of years ago now wasnt it?
    So want to know how our DD dealt with it and what outcome there was!

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