A federal judge has ordered Clayton High School in Johnston County, N.C., to admit a 14-year-old student who was repeatedly suspended for wearing a nose piercing. Ariana Iacono says the facial piercing is part of her religion. Although facial piercings are banned by the Johnston County school system’s dress code, the code does allow for exemptions based on religious beliefs. The Iaconos belong to a small religious group called the Church of Body Modification, which sees piercings and tattoos as religious devotion. The church has 3,500 members nationwide and was incorporated in Pennsylvania in July 2008, according to the lawsuit. Can you say “focused on the wrong thing”? Of all of the things for a school to be concerned about, they are worried about one student with a nose piercing. Perhaps they should focus more on addressing the needs of their burgeoning student population, which is outpacing the number of teachers on hand, and less about a child’s personal expression, which is not harming anyone.
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