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Jack Jackson

Journalism
04-30-2014
News Prompt
Two weeks ago sophomore Stacy Carol was suspended for three days because she
would not remove her lip ring. After she returned to school she still refused to remove it
claiming that it was a violation of her first amendment right to have the choice to practice the
religion of her choice. She was placed into in-school suspension for nine days after she
returned. On April 10, she will have a disciplinary hearing to remove her from her school
because she continues to disobey dress code.
I cannot comment on this case or discuss an individual students discipline issues,
Superintendent, Parker Gordon says, When we created the dress code in 2009 we sought
input from students, faculty and community members. Together, we designed a plan that was
appropriate for our district. Facial jewelry did not make the cut. They have the dress code to
have order and discipline in the school.
I do not understand why the district wont just drop this. I have never been suspended,
in fact I have never had a referral. Stacey Carol tells us, My mother and I joined the church
over winter break. At the church you chose how you want to express your faith by getting
certain piercings.
I was grateful when the ACLU agreed to help us. The piercings are a part of Stacys
religion. Mother Lareina Carol says, She wants to stand up for herself and for that I am
proud. The pastor of the church declined to comment.
People cry first amendment violations all the time. Freedom of religion is a big one. Just
because a few people get together and call themselves a church doesnt mean that they are a
church in the eyes of the law. Constitutional Lawyer, Jett Ramirez says, Most Americans
would be surprised how little the first amendment provides for religious-freedom claims under
the current law. I Australia there is a movement for a Jedi church.
I dont think you can compare the Muslim religion to a church of body modifications.
Says junior Amina Shakuri, I dont mind her lip piercing but comparing her lip piercing to my
hijab is absurd. There are more than a billion Muslims world wide.
Sonia Stephens an ACLU lawyer says, Stacy has a solid case. It is in the school districts
best interest to allow her a religious exemption from the dress code. She also adds, The
district doesnt have much to stand on since they already have two religious exemptions on
file.
We dont worship a tattoo god or anything like that. Our spirituality comes from what we
chose to do to ourselves. Through body modifications we can change how we see ourselves and
the world around us. Stacy Carol said.